Tag Archives: recession

Poem on the recession

This is a poem by Vimalesh Kumar. Vimalesh is from Kerala in India and is currently working in Muscat, Oman. Vimalesh has so far written just a few poems in English.


Oh recession you come to this crowd
Like a blackbird singing in a calming night

You threw our nights in filthy water
You swallowed our happy mornings
You took our bagpipe and castle

Oh recession you are so cruel
You dried our gardens, our dreams
You brought summer in your hand
You swore ice in cold, rain in water

Oh recession you come like hurricane
You hold our ways to sky and sea
You put our flights in dark clouds
You shake our island and wiped

Oh recession you come at right
You took us hard to restrict
You made us to believe in god
You stopped our hurry tides

Oh recession you are true
You shown us mere and myth
You bargain on our dreams
You make us to live for a future

Oh recession you are so proud
You save our children to live
You teach them to live in the real

You took their wheels to walk

Oh recession you are so humble
You made us to thank for goodness
You made us not to be pompous
You made us to survive in troubles
You opened our eyes to the future.


Poetry and the recession part two

I’ve finally written the poem on our economic malaise. I’d been thinking about this for weeks but what finally put it together for me was the fact that the FT published the names of the guilty men on Saturday- these were the guys that came up with the hocus pocus that broke the banks and everyone else. I’ve also been immersing myself in the early 19th century and the role of rapacious financiers was as much a concern then as it is now.

So, I’ve written some polemic which hopefully distills the problem into something more manageable. ¬† I’ve also resisted the temptation to prescribe a socialist/anarchist solution because that would require prose and I can do that elsewhere.

Demchack and Masters

It’s okay, I’ve found them.

The first guys, the flimmers and the flammers

Who first wrapped things up

They’re called Demchack and Masters

Worked for JP Morgan

And they cleaned up big time.

Then there’s Joe, Joe Cassano¬† over at AIG,

He took on the risk (which was too small to count)

and took the cash.

Then there were CDOs and SIVs and leverage

And A sold a piece to B

And B paid with money from C

Who was laying this off with D

But that’s okay cos it’s all triple rated.

Then the black folks wanted a house

But they were dirt poor

But nobody cared or seemed to notice

And gave them the money anyway.

During all of this jubilation

Nobody mentioned,  perhaps they forgot

That the free market isn’t actually free.

Nobody said, least of all me,

That there’s always a price to pay.

So now the black folks have nowhere to live,

The banks are broken and the currency’s fucked

And we don’t make things any more.

Sixty grown men chasing one job

All because we forgot

All because the sun was shining

And frankly we didn’t care.

Poetry and the recession

I’m toying with writing something about the recession but I’m not sure that it’s a theme that lends itself to verse. If poetry is about compression then it’s really quite hard to get to the kernel of the current crisis- what we seem to have is an abundance of follies (greed, hubris, unchecked risk, the herd instinct, stupidity, arrogance etc etc etc) and a plethora of explanations that are almost as complex as the problem itself.

I’m not suggesting that poetry shouldn’t be polemic nor that it should shy away from the uncomfortable. It’s just that if you are going to do polemic then you need to be very sure of your target. The closest I’ve got so far is taking on the Chicago School with it’s rigid faith in the glories of the unregulated market, in self-correction regardless of the human loss on the way.

This doctrine has always struck me as intellectually empty and to attack it by saying the obvious seems a bit too easy unless I can find an interesting way to put the point and present a feasible alternative without being too strident.