This past Thursday was National Poetry Day in the UK, and many British media outlets got into the spirit by asking readers (or viewers) to submit poems on this year's theme of "work." Judging from the submissions, "out of work" would have been more appropriate. The poems made clear just how global the economic crisis has become.
The Telegraph published a couple of clever lyrics. Here's one by Felix Riley, who works at a financial betting institution:
There once was a City-led meltdown
That turned all the grins into sad frowns
All the blacks turned to red
As shares fell out of bed
And it's not just the PM that's turned Brown
And here's another by David Darby of Surrey.
When leaders don't lead
And executive greed
Blow whole market structures away.
The ordinary bloke
Is the one they will soak.
"Get back ill-gotten gains," we all say!
The BBC also asked for poems. Christina from Parkstone wrote one of my favorites. Her poem "Don't Lend" reads a bit like Dorothy Parker.
It'll be alright.
Christina Burton from St. Leonards-on-sea isn't so optimistic in "I Cannot Sell My Flat."
I cannot sell my flat,
My wages pay no bills,
and Oxfam's full of business people
flocking to the tills.
We can forget the holiday,
We have foregone the car.
I don't think going out to busk
Is taking things too far.
So what are all the powers that be
Planning for salvation?
Short-sighted fecklessness and greed
have blighted this poor nation.
The MPs vote themselves a raise
To top the fortune earned.
Looking down on old Britain's fate,
And fiddle while it burns.
Tim H. already has his eye on the next British election in "First Casualty."
The first casualty was Northern Rock
And they blamed it on sub-prime.
Then Fannie May and Lehmans too,
The risk-taking was a crime.
The poor old taxpayer bears the brunt,
So those in charge go free.
Put them in jail without any bail
And throw away the key.
The credit crunch is beginning to bite
And the banks are starting to drown.
I want to know if the problem will grow
Should we vote for Gordon Brown?
Well Tim, if Gordon Brown's opponent is 72 years old and has an evil, half-wit beauty queen as his running mate, then yes, yes you should. Not that such a thing would ever happen...
If these poems have depressed you like they have me, or if the global economic freefall is getting you down, just remember the sage words of that great American leader, John McCain: Obama is a terrorist.
Finally, I really will try to cheer you up. Without a doubt, my favorite poem to come out of England this past week was comedic icon John Cleese's ode to one of the most disgraceful blowhards on Fox News. Here's "Ode to Sean Hannity":
Oozing with vanity
Plump as a manatee
Fox Noise insanity
You're a profanity
Cleese's poem actually does make me feel better.