Monday, February 13, 2012

Rock poetry in your underpants

You may not have heard it, but on Sunday the incredibly important news was broken that incredibly rich person Gina Rinehart was writing poetry. Look, that's fine. We all make mistakes, nobody is perfect, and don't worry about it, because Rinehart certainly isn't. She's had her poem set in stone and placed outside the Coventry Square Markets in Morley. (I'm sure it's just the place for it.)

This wouldn't be the first time filthy rich bastards have set pen to paper to express their feelings - a recent issue of the AFR magazine broke the news that Wotif founder, multi-millionaire donor to the Greens and The Global Mail, and all-round nice guy Graeme Wood was one of several poetry-writing CEOs. (Inexplicably this story does not seem to have been circulated around the internet quite as zealously as that about Hancock, but all this by the by.)

Anyway, this all lead to Geoff Lemon's amusing rebuke in Crikey, who says, in part:
Our Future (the full ode below) attempts a noble challenge: the rendering of economic theory and politico-economic ideology into stirring verse. Some call it impossible to include phrases such as “special economic zones” in a fluid and aesthetically pleasing poem. Those people are right. But Rinehart doesn’t let that stop her. If it doesn’t fit, she’ll shoehorn the bastard in there anyway.
That's a good point, but on the other hand, what's wrong with the phrase 'special economic zones' anyway? It could fit neatly in any iambic verse with four feet or more, and it ends with an easy-to-rhyme-with word. What's more, by taking these seven syllables, initiating some relatively simple textual and semiotic analysis, applying the correct quadratical equations on a five dimensional space-time graph, putting the resultant linguisto-heuristical-mathematical algorithm into a Large Hadron Collider nearby*, and then separating the whites from the yolks, we come up with the following interesting historical material, which proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that a number of famous poets have at one stage considered using that very phrase in their works. Or, at least, would have if given any encouragement:
I met a traveller from an ancient land
Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Within the special economic zones - Shelley, Ozymandias

I think we are in a rat's alley
Or special economic zones - T S Eliot, The Wasteland

It is an ancient mariner
From special economic zones - S T Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

My heart aches and a drowsy numbness pains
My special economic zones. - John Keats, Ode to a Nightingale

Whan that Aprille, with hise shoures soote
The droghte of March hath perced to the roote
Somethinge somethinge somethinge somethinge crones
Within hirre special economic zones. - Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales
See what I mean? Couldn't find a better phrase for poetry. Indeed, it is rather like that useful term 'in your underpants' which can simply be tacked on to the end of every sentence in a more or less meaningful fashion. Not to mention that another item to which the term 'special economic zones' might be applied euphemistically could be found in your underpants, or mine too, come to think of it. ButifyoustayoutofmineI'lldefinitelystayoutofyoursthankyouverymuch.

*Everyone should have one. They're great for the vacuuming.

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