Economic poetry… an excerpt from the sci-fi novella Halving It All

From Chapter 10, pages 63 – 65
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Economic poetry has been, throughout history, one of the great ignored literary forms in the western Milky Way. Its early proponents, writers like Wenckle Farthing and Pluber, may have enjoyed a smattering of recognition, but many other economic poets have struggled in obscurity, toiling away within a genre that many traditional readers mindlessly eschew.

One of the earliest economic poets was Onk the Elder (an ancestor of many reluctant decentralized planners on Silvid), who first captured the attention of fiduciary verse consumers with his period piece, “Winter Trade-Offs, Spritely Spring.” Criticized by some as being too optimistic and faery-centric, his whimsical floral style was to become a favorite of Kingman Twelve, a popular leader on Moon Forty during the Torrential Down-Wars.

Centuries later, a young lanky girl would came of age in the Xelian box neighborhoods. Julia Serving had always been keen to alliterate terms of sale; her hobby of editing ad copy had landed her an entry-level position in the advertising department of Corrugated Planetary Banks. But demand-stimulating jingles couldn’t hold her interest for long, especially after she read her first Onk chapbook. Her favorite poem of his, “Dragonflies Don’t Pay Taxes,” spoke to her soul of the diminuitive economic truths of the insect world and Julia eagerly expanded where he had left off, melding the worlds of monetary inflation and Gaelic faeries in her first multi-verse written in anapestic tetrameter:

”Song of the Inflationary Faeries”

Of the three acts of thievery we now allege,
know the first theft is clipping the silver’s crimped edge.
And the second theft funds a despicable hedge:
it’s the flooding of money demanding a dredge.

Let’s imagine a vat of Old Malcolm’s White Vine
when a gallon he makes sells for eight shillings nine.
This he weakens with water, diluting the wine
and his cheating the townsfolk makes Malcolm a swine.

Well, the flooding of money’s like wine-making tricks.
When diluting with coin, unseen crime it predicts:
Forty coins where there should only be thirty-six…
a percentage of each is the value it nicks.

Note these four extra coins are just part of a game
and the wealth that is stolen they’ll never reclaim.
For it’s four extra coins that these clippings became
while the silver amount, overall, stayed the same.

But the third theft’s inflation is cleverer still;
it depends not on clipping, just printing a bill,
and the effort required to steal will be nil,
so the inking of money will now be our drill.

This is how we can confiscate coins in a vault
all without our directly committing assault.
We’ll debase the coins’ worth, stealing wealth by default.
Here’s a scheme to administer, praise, and exalt!

How it benefits bankers, the folk rarely see
but the prices all rise, the more money there be.
See, the shire’s demand for a hen fricasee
will have grown by four coins but immediately.

And the quantity of the demand thereby lends
to the increase of prices by fives and by tens
as now forty are fighting for thirty-six hens.
But the rising it waits ’till the banker, he spends.

See inflation can’t spark till the new coin is spent
only then will the value of old coins indent.
Soon lost power of purchase the folk will lament.
So we faeries shall spend ‘ere the shire dissent!

The nefarious first-person anapests of the fictional inflationary faery sisters rocketed Julia to poet stardom virtually overnight. And of course, when she met economic historian Riordan Vastly at a literary derivatives conference on the planet Snetterson, syllables flew! They were married in the third quarter of the Silvidian Year 890 and the bride now goes by the name Julia Serving Vastly.

[ To order Halving It All on Amazon, please click here. ]

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