SICK IN FORTUNE
Sick in fortune from the surfeit
of own behavior, we
are crashing now, as we deserve,
most excellent in foppery,
betrayed for trusting not the tameness
of wolves or horses’ hearty health,
but bankers whose illicit lameness
depleted nearly all the wealth
that we accumulated on
a fools’ stage formed by Bush and Reagan,
supported by a Pentagon,
that’s fighting terror like a pagan
would once have fought the ancient Romans.
No need to look at entrails now:
read Maureen Dowd, and all the omens
now presaged by the falling Dow.
We’ll pay our taxes and will have
to manage somehow, without doubt,
while on the stage of fools we laugh,
and learn what we must do without.
Because our fortune is so sick
we have no choice now, as the target
of downswings in which every tick
will bring us all like pigs to market.
Maureen Dowd (“Stage of Fools,” NYT, March 4, 2009) writes about the earmarks that inflate President Obama’s first budget, recalling King Lear:
If only Shakespeare had known how to Twitter. There was a bit of King Lear in the scene on the Senate floor, a stormy, solitary John McCain on “this great stage of fools,” as the Bard wrote, railing against both parties and the president in fiery speeches and rapid-fire tweets. “He’s mad that trusts in the tameness of a wolf, a horse’s health, a boy’s love, or a whore’s oath,” the Fool told Lear. And he’s truly mad that trusts in the promise of a presidential candidate to quell earmarks… Blame it on the stars, Rahm, or on old business. But as Shakespeare wrote in “Lear”: “This is the excellent foppery of the world, that, when we are sick in fortune — often the surfeits of our own behavior — we make guilty of our own disasters, the sun, the moon, and the stars.”
© 2009 Gershon Hepner 3/4/09