A Sylph Sketch’d

(Link to story removed: story under consideration for print.)


Ricardo Soca, the philologist behind Palabra del Día and “La Fascinante Historia de las Palabras,” traces the etymology of “Sylph” back to the pre-Roman Gauls, forest dwellers of the north. The sylphs in their tales were the wild wind sprites who co-inhabited the mysterious forests.


One day, watching a sun set behind the New York City skyline from the roof of my apartment in Bushwick, poetess Virginia Valenzuela urged me to write her a story. With a wink she convinced me, and within twenty-four hours I pulled together as much of the material floating around my life at the time on paper. Attached is what surged. The story is dedicated to her.





Las sílfides, en la mitología gala, son personajes que habitan el aire y las aguas. El nombre sílfide se deriva del francés sylphide, palabra acuñada hacia 1670 por el académico francés Bernard de Montfaucon, pero el vocablo original, proveniente de la creencia prerromana en estos seres etéreos, era sylphe, término que fue retomado y divulgado en el siglo XVI por Paracelso.

Desde el siglo XIX, se usa para referirse a la mujer esbelta y delgada, probablemente a partir del atuendo típico de las bailarinas de ballet, cuyo uso se hizo general desde 1832, cuando la bailarina María Taglione lo estrenó en el ballet La sílfide.

Ricardo Soca

Posted in Stories and tagged , , .

One Comment

  1. The cake was finished
    But I wanted sweet and soft
    You made me more and I bit
    Now the taste, later the fullness
    My belly full with you

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