Every Angel Is Terrible

Artwork by Michael Markowitz

Angel #1, 2002, by Michael Markowitz. Charcoal, pastel, and pigment on paper.
(Lines from "Second Elegy")

Every angel is terrible.
And still, alas
knowing all that
I serenade you
you almost deadly
birds of the soul.
Where are the days of Tobias
when one of these
brightest of creatures
at the simple front door
disguised a little
for the trip
and not so frightening
(a young man
like the one
who looked curiously
out at him).
If the dangerous archangel
took one step now
down toward us
from behind the stars
our heartbeats
rising like thunder
would kill us.
Who are you?
Creation's spoiled darlings
among the first to be perfect...
pockets of essence
ecstasy shields
tumultuous storms
of delightful feelings
then suddenly
gathering the beauty
that streamed away from them
back to their own faces again.

— Rainer Maria Rilke,
translated by David Young
(from Duino Elegies,
copyright 1978 by W. W. Norton & Co., Inc.)
Angel, 2002-2003, by Michael Markowitz. Charcoal, pastel, and pigment on paper.
Detail of Angel, 2002-2003, by Michael Markowitz. Charcoal, pastel, and pigment on paper.

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There are currently 28 comments.


- Anonymous
November 17, 2005 at 11:30 AM

The draws are so perfect.

Is gorgeous.

Your talent has left me without speech.

More than beautiful, it's divine.

- Suzie Maxwell
November 18, 2005 at 1:53 AM

it's beautiful indeed, but I hope that what there's written from "the lines of Second Elegy" isn't what you really think.

Because if you said angels are bad then so would God be.

And nobody can make me believe that, never ever. Not even (especially not) the Devil.

- Anonymous
December 10, 2005 at 2:37 PM

it is so beautiful , I'm cryen when I saw it.

- tashechka
December 14, 2005 at 4:09 AM

You have the curiosity of a child and the disillusionment/skepticism of an adult who has felt great pain. I find the duality intriguing.

- Anonymous
December 16, 2005 at 11:27 AM

i dont know what i must to say, but i feel that is desribe what he feel when draw that. its so exsotic, confiused, and great expresion with powerfull emotion. we can cacth the menning of "true angel " from that, so beatiful, but confused !

- natalya
February 23, 2006 at 11:35 PM

the drawings are pretty but(well, i'm not sure about it) they seem as if the where only drafts. you shoul use some more definition.

- sol
March 31, 2006 at 8:13 PM

I think there are beatiful,they guide us to another life...!

God are the one who knows us, not the angels, they only protect us cause one angel, one darkangel named satan are the one who knows our pain, our fears. And we cant give him the satisfaction of this, we must go away and let him alone in the dark.

- Orien
April 3, 2006 at 9:55 AM

Both, artwork and the poem are great. What am I saying, they are amazing... The poem coicides perfectly with the pictures by Michael Markowitz.

- Maryana
April 7, 2006 at 10:02 PM

I think you need to take the point of view into account. This piece seems to reflect the impression of the on looker, not the defined truth.

Before the divine and overwhelming light, what mortal being would not feel terror and awe?

These beings are so divine that their presence would be much more than human perception could take in and process. The terrible wonder of an archangel standing before you unreserved and unrepressed.

It says nothing of intent. Only of a 'what if' description.

P.S, the artwork is inspired. U have my admiration.

- Adam Strider
April 16, 2006 at 12:43 AM

This a really weird artical. I am a christian and we belive that angels are good people. There is really bad photos on this site!

- M'n'M
April 17, 2006 at 9:03 PM

i dont like your proportion. U dont know the human body. U dont know to watch. First, you should learn to use your eyes and then, your hands.

- Krakva Hill
April 19, 2006 at 5:21 PM

labai grazu,nuostabu...

- Monika
April 20, 2006 at 7:00 AM

you have no idea of what you are drowing angals are aliens and they don't fly with winds and fethers they are completly diferent


- rafael luis torres
April 21, 2006 at 2:49 AM

look, i`m not old, inclusive i`m 14 years old, but i now a lot of art really meny people had tell to buy mi paints and drawings, but thats not wath i`m going to tell many people here said, that are bad, and they can`t said taht because, is how he see the angels and is his way of express them, so they can can`t tell him how ti think other wise, don`t have proportions because no one has seen it. and my opinion is that anyway how the artist paint it., are exelent and are really wonderfull his ideas about something or someone else.

- jose
April 23, 2006 at 8:13 PM

gambarnya bagus!

Aku suka angel-nya Michael Markowitz.

- Ruth
April 25, 2006 at 10:54 PM

gambarnya bagus!

Aku suka angel-nya Michael Markowitz.

- Ruth
April 25, 2006 at 10:54 PM

Gorgeous work.. really! You're style is really refreshing and im glad to see someone move away from White feathers-goldenhalos-hair-in-the-wind depictions. Although they are a little dark i think that your angels look so spiritual and wow.. i dont know.. half way between this world and the next.. you know?? As far as people critisizing you about the fact that angels are "GOOD" thats just silly.. ANYways, just because your art doesnt show the traditional beautiful blonde woman with wings does not mean that they arent angelic. Hey! in the bible when an angel appears they often tell the people "dont fear" and not to be frightened... im sure an angel would be a startling sight!! and.. as an artist.. special props to the hand.. thats so cool the way it looks like its moving.. the detail is quite nice.. well done

- Kate
May 5, 2006 at 5:55 PM



it's a nice mind to believe that angels exist


but everybody who believe in something like that is just too weak to exept the reality

... i don't want to say that I'm not weak...

i wish something like angels exist but i mean

to know that angel's didn't exist and will never exist

(very nice side)

- Face of Darkness
May 15, 2006 at 12:24 PM

I think you've done a great job! The angels are beautiful... and your work is inspiring...

- Gene
May 23, 2006 at 11:53 PM

hunger for love

like a flame

that with all it's power

no one can tame

you never know where thay are

but when it is dark they me a star

today that star is you

thank you for be´ng such a inspiring light

love romy,14,from the netherlands

i'd like to see more of your work if that is possible

- romy
May 24, 2006 at 10:35 AM

ur paitings are absolutly beautiful and what ive noticed about the people putting down ur art work is that they suck at spelling and since they cant spell wat they are saying at least remotely close the shouldnt say any thing!! u r an amazing artist and i admire ur work :)i look 4ward 2 seeing more

- Destiny - rose
May 31, 2006 at 5:53 PM

Hi!You have big talent :) this pictures are souls angels :) I'm so happy becouse I saw this formidable work. (I'm living in Poland so I'm sorry for mistakes)

- Halina
June 10, 2006 at 11:41 AM


- Anonymous

November 17, 2005 at 11:30 AM

ajajjaajjaa seee.. cierto..

pero los dibujos estan padres ^^ espero q ustedes estadounidenese piensen en angeles... para q les traiga la paz a sus mentes y dejen d cazar a mi gente... .-. un poco d cordura a sus mentes no les caeria mal.. (aunque nose porq siente que pido demasiado)

- Sakura
June 13, 2006 at 4:57 PM

Very nice! A most excellent poem, and most excellent artwork. I liked the references to Raphael from the Book of Tobit. The "religious" people above who criticize you for not thinking angels are all sugar and spice are misinformed. Many angels are exceedingly noble creatures, but they are terrible and mighty as well. I can understand why you would envy angels. I do as well....

Beautiful work. I hope to see more in the future.

- Liquid Seraphim
June 17, 2006 at 5:57 PM

A most exellent poem, beautiful work,very nice!!. I hope to see more in the future.Very, very, very good!!!Exellent

- caroline
June 20, 2006 at 8:24 PM


June 27, 2006 at 7:27 PM

super!i like it!

- andrada
July 1, 2006 at 4:34 AM