Pure Folly

Piffle – Word of the Day


The Folly was an 18th century English/French idea where a piece of architecture was built simply to decorate a garden or a field. While in Ireland some were used as a way of providing employment, in England they were mostly an indulgence of the wealthy. Many were replicas of the seven constructed wonders, famous castles, and other architecture. Some served a purpose, like a pavilion, but many were in fact, just decorative. There are, in my mind, plenty of modern equivalents.


Pure Folly

There you stand,
once as grand as Troy.
Now your weathered alabaster
and marble refinements are greyed,
pock marked, amd worn.
Your rondels as if ravens had plucked their eyes,
the adorning orb no longer shines
yet the sun has not set on you.
You look tired
ravaged by nature from whence you came.
Even so, you stand defiant
lasting testimony to decadence past,
a vision of something grand,
or, perhaps, a flight of fantasy.
As I ascend your steps to the heavens,
I hear the crowd roar and the clash of shields,
the Trojans quake,
O Helen.
Such folly in a folly.

©Paul Cannon





Filed under history, Mythology, poetry

31 responses to “Pure Folly

  1. I love folly’s they should be looked after. Beautiful towers in the landscape

    Liked by 2 people

  2. How interesting!! And a great poem as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. B.

    I am impressed by the power of these words…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The wisdom of ravens. Good write


  5. most apt description of this old folly, your words echo my thoughts 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Not much different from a gazebo.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. lync56

    I like it


    Liked by 1 person

  8. Nasuko

    I don’ t know Folly,I knew gazebo.
    I searched about Folly,there are various transitions 😀
    Nice 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Slightly different as these had no real purpose, but looked as if they did, still as others have said, not everything needs a purpose – art and beauty can be good enough I guess. Thank you Nasuko

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Just a few days ago I was watching a programme about how some of these follies are now being turned into homes in England.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Not everything must serve a purpose … sometimes just the beauty of a thing is its purpose. I love the word ‘piffle’!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. A very nice sense of melancholy.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This is interesting. I didn’t know about the Folly. I loved the poem! It’s fitting for the Folly.

    Liked by 1 person

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