Sunday, June 7, 2009

Money, poetry on the way

Not only the Industrial Revolution was British, but also a more contemporary, poetical revolution. London's Poems on the Underground program began in tube carriages (which are, in all probability, subway cars) in 1986:

Up in the morning's no for me,
Up in the morning early;
When a' the hills are covered wi' snaw,
I'm sure it's winter fairly.
— Robert Burns, Up in the Morning Early

When all the pre-market happens.
Like any brilliant idea, it spread in all directions. Once it got to the New York subway, as Poetry In Motion:
For the sword outwears its sheath,
And the soul wears out the breast,
And the heart must pause to breathe,
And love itself have rest.
— Lord Byron, So we'll go no more a-roving

Presumably about a slow day in the markets.
it was only a matter of when it will arrive in Toronto.

So if you happen to take the subway in Toronto1, you must have noticed the occasional rush-hour verse or two. Poetry on the Way is how I discovered Pat Lowther:
Couldn't write then maybe
but how I could love —
When I said "Tree"
my skin grew rough as bark.
I almost remember how all the leaves
rushed shouting shimmering
out of my veins.

Even now
I can almost remember
how many hands I had
hooked in the sky.
On Reading a Poem Written in Adolescence

On all that was once passion, and is today primarily technique...
Which leads naturally to another concept, long overdue, to wit money-management tips delivered to the captive, commuting populace in similarly small doses. I certainly could have used something like this.

Don't neglect your DC so-called pension plan: unless it's all in effectively-losing GICs, it's in the other definitely-losing small choice of funds.

Contribute to your RRSP: retirement may be a long way off, but you'll be able to withdraw funds soon, and pay only minimal taxes, when you get terminated.

Be careful about putting money in MER-hungry mutual funds: in a downturn, when care is needed most, the guys supposedly taking care of your money lose your said money faster than this train.
etc. etc.

As to a catchy name, I don't know. Money on the Way, devoid of specificity regarding the where (on the way up? down??), leaves you hanging-wanting-to-read-more alright, but also may scare the reader off. Money, by the Way lacks force. Money is the Way is already taken2, sort of. Money, the Way it was is merely nostalgic, so of no much help. My Money, no Way! is not constructive.

Once the naming question is resolved and the project gets going, New York can have its turn copying Toronto. But with something called more in the American way: It's the money, stupid.

1 This may occur either 1.- because your car broke down ("Oh, I do my part for this poor planet of ours whenever I can, you know!"), or 2.- because you cannot afford a real car ("I live downtown, so I don't really need a car!").

2 One of the blogs listed on our sidebar (in the blogshelf? blograck? bloglog?! bloglogog??) is Money is the way, seldom about money as such, quite often pure poetry. And in motion, too. At times a bit jerky for the uninitiated, but always rich, colourful, and worth reading — once you get familiar with the usual inhabitants of Michael Fowke's landscape, such as the Master, the shamans, Big Herb, those children of the desert, and bien sûr episodic muse Gillian Tett.

1 comment:

  1. Great post once more. I enjoy this tremendously.

    I've learned so much about London ans the industrial revolution.

    I'll be adding your blog to my list of link to Transylvnia Things, hope you don't mind.