Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Excerpts From a Prescient View of US Politics and Economics

"Just the place for a Snark!" the Bellman cried,
As he landed his crew with care;
Supporting each man on the top of the tide
By a finger entwined in his hair.

"Just the place for a Snark! I have said it twice:
That alone should encourage the crew.
Just the place for a Snark! I have said it thrice:
What I tell you three times is true."
A Billiard-marker, whose skill was immense,
Might perhaps have won more than his share--
But a Banker, engaged at enormous expense,
Had the whole of their cash in his care.
"His form is ungainly--his intellect small--"
(So the Bellman would often remark)
"But his courage is perfect! And that, after all,
Is the thing that one needs with a Snark."
The last of the crew needs especial remark,
Though he looked an incredible dunce:
He had just one idea--but, that one being "Snark,"
The good Bellman engaged him at once.
(after explaining that the butcher could only kill beavers...)
The Beaver's best course was, no doubt, to procure
A second-hand dagger-proof coat--
So the Baker advised it--and next, to insure
Its life in some Office of note:

This the Banker suggested, and offered for hire
(On moderate terms), or for sale,
Two excellent Policies, one Against Fire,
And one Against Damage From Hail.
He had bought a large map representing the sea,
Without the least vestige of land:
And the crew were much pleased when they found it to be
A map they could all understand.
I won't be watching the State of the Union Address tonight, most likely. I'll read it tomorrow. I'm tired of Obama's oratory... I'm tired of feeling persuaded that he believes things he doesn't.

The poem is of course "The Hunting of the Snark," and while I love "Alice in Wonderland," I think this is my favorite work of Lewis Caroll. (Other formats here)

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