Friday, March 14, 2014

The Businessman (In Canterbury Couplets)

Well, seems I had nothing written for today. So, since I spent the morning writing a model poem for an assignment I gave my AP English class (to write a description of a "pilgrim" in the style of Chaucer's prologue to the Canterbury Tales ) I figured, what the heck. I had fun with it, even though I am not the most adept writer of couplets in iambic pentameter, by any stretch. A fairly Chaucerian, sarcastic, backhanded-praise attack on my least favorite kind of modern man. (Not businessmen, in general, I should point out, but men like this one.)  I hope it makes you grin, if nothing else:

The Businessman (In Canterbury Couplets)

Despite the winter, he was very tan.
A suited chap; a handsome businessman.
He shook his head when stories were proposed
And through the first of these, reclined and dozed.
But when he woke he brushed his raven hair
And locked his pocket mirror in a stare.
‘Twas plain to see he turned his deepest thought
Toward the impact his appearance wrought.
His cuticles were carefully controlled,
His tie a purple-blue, it rang out bold.
His brow was plucked and brushed and caref’ly shaped
And all the folk around him stared and gaped
To see a man whose outward beauty shone --
Who sat upon a chair as if bethroned.
A man of highest dignity was he
Who of the yolk of courtesy, was free.
A masterful mirage was this sharp chap,
For outward beauty hid a vicious slap
For anyone who dared to disagree
And meddle with his inner harmony.
For though he looked a bit effeminate,
He had no time for imbecile and snit;
For perfect was his sense of self-esteem
And well he knew it was a fruitless dream
That anyone should match his perfect state;
For he worked hard upon his speech and gait --
And did he not deserve such wealth and might?
And should he not be such a lovely sight?
For Shakespeare said the clothes proclaim the man
More openly than any manners can!
Vanity's a vice for other times –
Today our confidence should loudly chime;
Thus, oft I heard him say “I am the best!
Just put me to the toughest, roughest test!”
He’d hoot and beat upon his sculpted pecs
And prance about the room (or street or deck)
Proclaiming with his voice and clothes and strut
That to the rest, the doors and gates were shut –
For who, for company, could this man choose
Whose prowess, strength and worth would not diffuse?
A favor it was that he did for them
To sit as if he wore a diadem.
For would it not be cruel to let us think
We had a chance, with him, to make a link?
So as we all began to tell the tales,
He smiled and shook his head and did his nails,
Alone in seat one-sixty, aisle eight,
Of us all, the highest magistrate…


  1. Replies
    1. I truly consider that a kind of validation, Jeff, coming from you. Thanks! (It's a silly little ditty, but I had fun.)