The Sylph of Finance


Their songs are passed from cloud to cloud

As haloed rainbows, curved from sound.

Their words are rhymed and timed to hide

The storms unleashed across the Earth.


Their songs are shaken from their wings,

And, feathers flicking, ring and ring

The ancient notes so clear and pure.

They sing in bliss and perfect pitch.


One note to bleed the working poor,

The next to drain the moorland peat.

A simple tune to stoke the fears:

Unheard the prayers, the cries, the grief.


Their songs they sing from distant skies,

As old as air, untouched by care.



Linked up on d’verse


15 Comments to “The Sylph of Finance”

  1. A note to bleed the poor! Love it!!! Perfect line for what’s going on…

  2. Oh, so beautiful! “their songs are shaken from their wings”……”unheard the prayers, the cries, the grief”. Just wonderful. You are a master at this form!

  3. One note to bleed the working poor…oh my…i think i don’t wanna hear their songs..great use of metaphor here…i would wish there was a bit more humanity in their songs…wonderfully penned with a great flow as well

  4. Such tight and disciplined writing…and with a punch! This truly makes explicit political commentary artful, something many strive for and few achieve. Very well done.

  5. A lovely poem with such flow. Wonderful1

  6. dang….this is a bit haunting…the rhyme does it…and the bleeding of the working man hits right where you slipped it in…popm it hits….nicely done…

  7. Ominous! (I agree with Brian “dang”)

  8. Excellent flow of the words here!

  9. You capture the distance created by all the false abstractions of finance.

  10. Great write and yes, I do think you are just masterful with this form

  11. I had to look up “Sylphs” and then I found Popes satire on them. And then I imagined vain women ascending to the skies wreaking financial horror on us all. But it is men, mostly — men chasing vain women or just men being men.

    Fascinating poem — songs of the Sylphs bending rainbows and causing havoc — beauty and violent storms both. Nature and the gods care not for men and women — nor often we for ourselves.

    Thanks for making me think and learn.

    • Pope’s satire is interesting, primarily because of what it says about Pope. Even in his own time his attitude towards women was considered somewhat “out there”. Elementals such as Sylphs (as constructed by Paracelsus in the 15th Century) are of a more complex and metaphoric/metaphysical nature than Pope, with his somewhat constrained world view, could possibly acknowledge. Many early “enlightenment” figures certainly seemed to struggle with non-literal understanding (something they inherited from Pauline Christianity, and passed on to modern Science). Sylphs aren’t female – nor are they the fairies the Victorians later turned them into (in countless awful paintings). Paracelsus, in his weird way, seemed to be trying to articulate the sense of being simultaneously connected and distant from the world – he placed Elementals at that pivot point. It is a view rich in possibilities (as Pope inadvertently, and despite himself, found).

  12. yes, a global feudalism, we need something different

  13. a modern political piece wrapped up in a great traditional form….some thing never change…and they need to

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