Description is fueled by HUNGER for the world, the need to taste, to name, to claim what’s seen, to bring it, as Rilke would put it (in the ninth of his great elegies, the subject of which is the resurrection of the world within the perceiver), “O endlessly into ourselves.” But it would be simplistic to conceive of such hunger as simply celebratory or affirmative; that is part of it, but it’s very often true that what we are compelled to describe is terrible, or oppressive, or heartbreaking. Language is hungry for that, too. It wants, as it were, to eat everything. Even the falling, fading world, even misery.
— The Art of Description