May
09

The Poetry of Business

Thanks to the world wide web and google, here is an interesting light hearted blog post about the intersection of poetry in business written by Judith Kautz, writer and web developer of a site that offers small business owners help and support through online material and articles. Sound familiar?

So, if you are enjoying reading this blog you might also enjoy reading Small Business Notes. But don’t be gone for too long- be sure to come back and visit again soon.
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Business and Poetry at first glance have little in common. Most people consider business as representative of the rational side of our society. Business is involved with profit and concrete ways of achieving it. Poetry represents the creative, more abstract side of the world. It deals with ideas and emotions, not the bottom line. Yet, on closer inspection, many areas of overlap actually exist.

For starters, there is a fair amount of poetry about business. Poems about business range from the whimsical — one Ogden Nash verse contemplating work begins

I sit in an office at 244 Madison Avenue
And say to myself You have a responsible job havenue?
Why then do you fritter away your time on this doggerel?

Here are some other famous and not so famous verses about business:

Carl Sandburg in his Chicago Collection addresses all aspects of Chicago life, including its business life. Skyscraper discusses what transpires in the daily life of a skyscraper; To Certain Journeymen is about the business of dying; and Working Girls muses on the flow of life.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge in Work Without Hope comments on the constancy of work as part of all nature.

Frank Halliwell in The Customer provides a tongue-in-cheek commentary on being put on hold.

Michael Benedikt writes what he calls “Prose Poems” that describe many aspects of the business of life.

Clearly, poetry about business covers all of history and all types of styles, but the common denominator is that it comments on this experience we call business. Uncovering the few examples I have cited here has been inspiring and fun, so much so that I have started a page that links to any poetry that relates to business. This should be a useful, ever-growing reference page of poetry about business.

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