Angels. This is a topic that has an extremely broad range of applications and usages. The first thought that comes immediately to mind is regarding those heavenly creatures that are depicted as serving God at his throne. Of course, those same angels are found here on earth, serving God and ministering to His people and protecting them from Satan. It is often this later concept of ‘angel’ that many people think of when contemplating angel-themed poetry. Referred to as ‘guardian angels’, these being are assigned to protect certain people and to keep them from physical or spiritual harm. Children are often thought to have guardian angels constantly at their side to watch over them throughout the day and night. Christianity is the primary source of this notion of angels and guardian angels. However, there are other religious faiths that have similar concepts. The Arabic phrase al-mu’aqqibat refers to similar beings who are to guard a person and keep them from harm or death until it is their appointed time to die. Zoroastrianism also features a similar being. Called an Arda Fravaš, these guardian angels volunteer to watch over a person until the end of their life on Earth.
An English poet, Robert Browning, has selected the idea of a guardian angel as the theme of one of his highly regarded poems. Browning, one of the many classic poets of the mid 19th century, was extremely well read and often selected works that were unknown to most people. This gave him a unique set of references on which to base some of his own writings. Many of his illustrations are puzzling to those who are unaware of some of these lesser known pieces of literature. Here is a sample of one of Browning’s notable poems.
by Robert Browning
Of course, the word angel has other applications as well. Although most still have their origins on the angelic beings in heaven, many a romantic poem and song has made reference to the beauty and gentleness of the subject of the poem. There have probably been many school boys or young men who have penned their first love poem and referred to the lady of their dreams as being some sort of angel sent from above. Many popular songs have also used this theme. So it is no surprise that a quick search of the internet can produce thousands of similar poems. Here is one entitled My Darling Angel, which fits well into this second category of angel poems.
My Darling Angel
by Chris Georgiou
The final category that I want to suggest looking at deals with the darker side of the angel persona. Over the past decades, the gothic movement has created a renewed interest in examining such topics as vampires and werewolves, which often are referred to as dark angels, or, simply reversed, angels of darkness. Such ideas have found their way from this rather narrow audience to a sizeable and growing category of fiction and poetry. Dark angels are now a prominent theme in many television and movie productions, moving beyond the works of Poe and Shelley and other horror genre authors to a wide range of professional and amateur poets.
Angel of Darkness
by Tin Mouse