Sunday, June 12, 2011

The search for improbable economic growth

Columbus traveled west to find the East
His trip a test that found a different beast.

And so it is now with economic recovery
We wonder how we'll make that discovery.

The data show with so many numbers
From the recessionary blow the economy still slumbers.

Will the private sector spend very much more?
Producing a growth vector once was a fiscal policy chore.

With no wind at our backs in the doldrums we drift
To end the employment slack the economy needs more lift.

Hoping for good news surely we're all very eager.
Yet in many pundits' views the results are apt to be meager.

Congress more concerned with the debt than that the economy it should bail.
Has gotten some Keynesians upset but their ship's already sailed.

So where the economy will head is anybody's guess
Journeying with a sense of dread it'll be more of a mess.

2 comments:

Downes said...

Here are the syllable counts for the poem above...

Columbus traveled west to find the East 10
His trip a test that found a different beast. 10

And so it is now with economic recovery 14
We wonder how we'll make that discovery. 11

The data show with so many numbers 10
From the recessionary blow the economy still slumbers. 16

Will the private sector spend very much more? 11
Producing a growth vector once was a fiscal policy chore. 16

With no wind at our backs in the doldrums we drift 12
To end the employment slack the economy needs more lift. 15

Hoping for good news surely we're all very eager. 13
Yet in many pundits' views the results are apt to be meager. 16

Congress more concerned with the debt than that the economy it should bail. 17
Has gotten some Keynesians upset but their ship's already sailed. 16

So where the economy will head is anybody's guess 15
Journeying with a sense of dread it'll be more of a mess. 15


I don't get it. If there's supposed to be some sort of meter or measure in this poem, it's not apparent. The syllable counts appear to be random, as though the structure of the poem wasn't considered at all as it was written. The wording is awkward, but not for any apparent reason. What (if anything) am I missing?

Lanny Arvan said...

It seems clear I don't do it by the numbers. There are two different explanations.

One is just that I'm not very good with the rhymes. If you look at the other pieces at this tag, they too don't possess a consistent meter. Getting the rhyme to work suffices for me. In this particular case, I was trying for a within line rhyme as well as an end of line rhyme. That threw the meter off even more than usual.

The other is that I'm extremely angry at this economic predicament, since much of it seems to have been avoidable and leadership now is scant if not entirely absent. I'm afraid that anger is contributing to writer's block and so when I am able to blurt something out it gets through my internal filters where before it would have been blocked. This is not just about the rhymes. It is mainly with regard to the longer prose pieces I used to write with greater frequency.