What do global combat and property ownership have to do with sex and sea turtles? According to Daniel Wolff—as it turns out, everything. More Poems about Money looks at the economic times we live in, from boom to bust, from the suburbs to the warzone, in a voice that ranges from humorous to desperate. Grappling with monetary value and how it infringes on self worth, Wolff asks simultaneously timeless and timely questions—Who has capital, who doesn’t, and does that ever change?—in a style both humorous and unflinching, sparing not even himself. “‘The market runs on credit,” Wolff reminds us, “which romantics call yearning. / A flame. Or a sonnet.” Yes, art also participates in capitalism as our lyrics stoke the fire of want, fueling this system and getting snuffed by it. Pivoting from the Great Recession toward today’s crisis, this undaunted book illuminates the transactions we aren’t supposed to talk about, beckoning us toward the future we can’t imagine… yet.
“Prologue,” from More Poems about Money
There can’t be more poems about money
because there haven’t been any.
Nothing deep or funny
about a penny.
It isn’t even real.
What people lose sleep over, kill to collect,
hoard, squander, steal—
is a promise. Inspect
the coin more closely;
it has no value, only stands
for value: gold we’re mostly
told. What the teller hands
over—the un-poetic teller—
is a symbol. Legal. Tender.
If you’re in the market for a volume of poetry about money, this is the book for you!
“There’s no money in poetry. But there’s no poetry in money, either,” quoth Robert Graves, but this collection by Daniel Wolff certainly contradicts that notion. From dives into economic theories to exploring real life contradictions like Cuba’s dual monetary system, Wolff advocates always for poetry, which surely exists only as a Gift Economy. And this book is indeed a gift for readers ready to savor the destruction of dollars and doubloons and the power of language in the service of imagination.
Daniel Wolff has written some poems—more rhyming than you might think, and some laughs, bitter and otherwise—on the unlikely subject of money. They won’t make him rich, but they’re very good things to have.
Razor-sharp, deeply witty, sardonic meditations on the heart-stopping paradoxes of our compromised lives.
Daniel Wolff has written some poems — more rhyming than you might think, and some laughs, bitter and otherwise — on the unlikely subject of money. They won’t make him rich, but they’re very good things to have.
I promise you, Daniel Wolff is a wonderful poet.