Thursday, 23 March 2017

More than Dutch

Last night I came across (again) this poem by Kay Ryan -

Dutch
Much of life
is Dutch
one-digit
operations
in which
legions of
big robust
people crouch
behind
badly cracked
dike systems
attached
by the thumbs
their wide
balloon-pantsed rumps
up-ended to the
northern sun
while, back
in town, little
black-suspendered
tulip magnates
stride around.
 Everything about this little poem - even the title - is as Dutch as can be. It could be the description of a scene painted on a Dutch tile or a Delft bowl, and the tone is fittingly comic and naive. Yet it seems to me that the image presented here could have a much wider application.
 Is there not something oddly recognisable in this picture of a world where most lead lives of quiet, good-humoured desperation, stoically holding disaster at bay, while 'back in town' a complacent elite, who know nothing of the ordinary struggles of life, enjoy a wealth founded on unrealities - tulip fever, the derivatives boom, there's little to choose between them (and both are doomed to crash when an altogether different kind of dike bursts, and reality floods in). The divided society so quaintly depicted in Dutch is not that far, it seems to me, from the one that gave us Brexit and the Trump victory, when the big, wide-rumped stavers-off of disaster turned on the little self-regarding magnates of unreality and showed their strength.

6 comments:

  1. Yes, agree with you about the tulip magnates or the Lords of the universe trading in collateralised debt obligations but you might get an argument from some who'd say that the dike systems are only there at all because of capital from the capital and that plenty of the proletariat work in the tulip fields. It's all inter-dependent. One shouldn't be entirely surprised at those on the make as their activity can fund as well as destroy empires - cf the East India Company. It's all double-edged.

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  2. Very true, Guy - though it sounds as if they dikes weren't very well made. I've got nothing against capitalism, but the kind of things that go on in the City now can barely be defined as capitalism, can they? All that is solid melts into air, as the man said.

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  3. Sure, it is an age of deplorable abuses. It is also a fearsomely complicated time. You speak of Brexit in this relation. Were one to relate the poem to Brexit are the tulip magnates the EU Commission? Not a lot makes sense in any coherent way.

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  4. شركة نقل عفش
    اهم شركات مكافحة حشرات بالخبر كذلك معرض اهم شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام والخبر والجبيل والخبر والاحساء والقطيف كذلك شركة رش حشرات بالدمام ومكافحة الحشرات بالخبر
    شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام
    شركة تنظيف خزانات بجدة الجوهرة من افضل شركات تنظيف الخزانات بجدة حيث ان تنظيف خزانات بجدة يحتاج الى مهارة فى كيفية غسيل وتنظيف الخزانات الكبيرة والصغيرة بجدة على ايدى متخصصين فى تنظيف الخزانات بجدة
    شركة تنظيف خزانات بجدة
    شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام
    شركة نقل عفش واثاث

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