Saturday, October 27, 2007

Poetic fragment

I have recently come across this piece of verse among my husband's papers. I can't recollect seeing it before. As he worked for an engineering insurance firm, he may have written it for the house journal. I think it has a Gilbertian feel about it. He would have delighted in introducing a touch of ridicule to the rather stiff and stuffy world of insurance.

It is not clear to me whether the three lines starting with a dash were alternatives he planned to choose between, or whether he was allowing himself some poetic extravagance. I don't think it matters which.


It is the public’s firm belief
that rates are always found
by methods scientific and
statistically sound

Mathematically based, let’s say
allowing in each £
a modest bit of profit but
statistically sound

The truth is rather different
we use our gifts and flair
to raise a hand aloft and grab
a rate from out thin air

Or else there’s this (no doubt you wish
our mysteries to plumb)
to get the true and perfect rate
one sucks it from one’s thumb

And who shall say that we are wrong
if as each year comes round
we’ve made a bit and paid our way -
there really is no ground
- for saying we have gone to pot
- that rating’s just a lot of rot
- that no-one really cares a jot

In fact we think we’re rather hot
at rating (and we do a lot)
not always scientific but
statistically sound


Granny J said...

Oh, bravo! Well done.

sheoflittlebrain said...

I followed Granny J's link to find you. Charming verse. Your husband must have had a wonderful sense of humor! I'll be back:)