02 April 2009

Larkin's Money

US President Barack Obama, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in London. (AP photo by Kirsty Wigglesworth / April 2, 2009)

In honor of the G-20, a poem by one of England's (dour) greats, poet and jazz critic Philip Larkin


Money

Quarterly, is it, money reproaches me:
'Why do you let me lie here wastefully?
I am all you never had of goods and sex.
You could get them still by writing a few cheques.'

So I look at others, what they do with theirs:
They certainly don't keep it upstairs.
By now they've a second house and car and wife:
Clearly money has something to do with life

- In fact, they've a lot in common, if you enquire:
You can't put off being young until you retire,
And however you bank your screw, the money you save
Won't in the end buy you more than a shave.

I listen to money singing. It's like looking down
From long French windows at a provincial town,
The slums, the canal, the churches ornate and mad
In the evening sun. It is intensely sad.



(AP photo by John Stillwell / April 1, 2009)

Queen Elizabeth II poses with delegates of the G20 London summit for a group photograph in the Throne Room at Buckingham Palace London.

Back row from left: Dominique Strauss-Kahn, managing director of the International Monetary Fund; Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations; Pascal Lamy, director-general of the World Trade Organisation; Abhisit Vejjajiva, chair of Asean and Prime Minister of Thailand; Taro Aso, Prime Minister of Japan; Silvio Berlusconi, Prime Minister of Italy; Mirek Topolanek, President of the European Council; Professor Mario Draghi, chairman of the Financial Stability Forum; Robert Zoellick, President of the World Bank.

Middle row from left: Kevin Rudd, Prime Minister of Australia; Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada; Dr Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany; Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Prime Minister of Spain; Dr Jan Peter Balkenende, Prime Minister of the Netherlands; Kgalema Motlanthe, President of South Africa; Barack Obama, President of the United States of America; Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister of Turkey; Dr Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India; Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission; Meles Zenawi, chair of Nepad and Prime Minister of Ethiopia.

Front row from left: Lee Myung-bak, President of Korea; Nicolas Sarkozy, President of France; King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud GCB GCMG, of Saudi Arabia; Hu Jintao, President of China; Gordon Brown, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; Queen Elizabeth II; Luiz Innacio Lula da Silva, President of Brazil; General TNI (Ret) Dr H Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President of Indonesia; Felipe Calderon Hinojosa, President of Mexico; Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, President of Argentina; Dmitry A Medvedev, President of Russia.

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