Ode To Wi-Fi: Friday Office Poetry

Ode To Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi is like the weather

In and out

It shines its fickle light

Is it radio or wave

That routes its

Way into our hearts

Wi-Fi should be a Greek god

Not god of thunder

Thank you, Zeus

But a French goddess like

Electricity at the Paris Expo

Eighteen-eighty-one

Crowned in cords

She carried a beacon

Wore a corona of current*

The statue of liberty

Also French

Looks like her

She commemorates

The abolition of slavery

At her feet are broken chains*

She holds a beacon

Like the other

Gods of light and lighting

Are we free?

Free from what

Free from one wire

We are on another wire

We are suspended between

Here and not there

Inside a machine

That has no outside

Our gods die

Or are they down

Under where the wires run

And angels fear to tread

NOTES

* “The man who originated the idea for the Statue of Liberty, the legal thinker Édouard René Lefèbvre de Laboulaye, was also a staunch abolitionist who was known in the United States for his Civil War-era pamphlets defending the Union cause. In an early model of the statue by the French sculptor Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi from 1870, Lady Liberty is depicted holding broken chains in her left hand, a clear reference to emancipation. Bartholdi based the statue on the Roman goddess Libertas, who is usually depicted wearing a Phrygian cap, traditionally worn by freed Roman slaves. In Bartholdi’s final model, the broken chains in the statue’s hand were replaced with a tablet that represented the rule of law. Bartholdi placed the broken shackle and chains beneath Lady Liberty’s feet. It is far more common to associate the Statue of Liberty with immigration rather than emancipation. But it wasn’t until years after the statue’s dedication that it became an icon for the waves of immigrants seeking a better life in the United States.” From, “New Statue of Liberty Museum Illuminates a Forgotten History,” Julia Jacobs, The New York Times.

** “The Godess of Elecricity: Fée Électricité. Electricity became a consumer product around 1880. But how do you represent a new invisible energy? Through its various representations, the French Goddess of Electricity illustrated the idea of progress and innovation. The first allegorical representations of electricity were based on an existing repertoire: the huge collection of objects, classical statues, and Republican and Masonic symbolism all relating to light. The Light Fairy is one of the oldest known depictions. It seems to be directly inspired by the poem “Stella” by Victor Hugo. The morning star that adorns her brow heralds a new dawn synonymous with progress and freedom. An allegorical depiction from 1881 shows the female figure wrapped in a mess of cables which signifies the development of the first electrical network. The Statue of Liberty, which is actually also an electric beacon, carries a light that is synonymous with man’s progress. Electricity was sometimes depicted as an ambivalent presence, reminiscent of something from science fiction, like the statue described as an ‘untapped indifferent force capable of good as well as evil.’ The image of the Goddess of Electricity continued to evolve over time, eventually disappearing in the first half of the 20th century as electricity became commonplace.” From, “The Goddess of Electricity,” by Damien Kuntz for the Electropolis Museum.

Also Read: Printer Poem

Listen to our podcast, Friday Office Poetry, on Pocket Cast, Spotify, Google Podcasts and Anchor.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store