Love, death, relationships - these subjects typically inspire collections of poetry. But business? Most people think of business and poetry as separate and incompatible areas of life. In 1991 Alan Farnham expressed this common belief when he wrote in "Fortune" magazine, "Not many people in business feel an urge to write verse about their work". Challenged by this statement, Ralph Windle began a three-year search for poetry of business life - and found a profusion of verse exploring all aspects of business. The author's research revealed that not only is there a large body of business poetry in existence today, but business has been the subject of poems since the invention of the written word. The poems in this collection range from early "agribusiness" to the ever-present entrepreneur, merchant, banker, and - with the coming of the industrial age - the worker and manager; right up to 20th century concerns with global travel, technology, and the complexities of office life. Included are the works of more than 70 poets, and twice that many pieces.
Young, unpublished "business poets" rub elbows with widely published contemporary writers, as well as some of the most distinguished names in poetic literature. Many contemporary business people write verse about their experiences - serious and humorous - as they seek an outlet for their creativity, sending signals to the world that human sensitivities are highly compatible with effective business performance. Humour, insight, sadness, wisdom, and occasional anger are all represented in this collecion and offer a dynamic, living picture to all people in organizations, their families and the wider professions as well.
Ralph Windle is the editor of The Poetry of Business Life, as well as the author of Boardroom Ballads and The Bottom Line, and co-editor (with William Keyser) of Public Enterprises in the EEC. His poetry has appeared in various international publications, including the Harvard Business Review and The Financial Times, under the pen name Bertie Ramsbottom. Formerly chief executive of the biscuit division and board director of Nabisco, UK, Windle now acts as an independent business consultant to boards and senior management of multi-divisional and international companies in Europe and the U.S. He is a Founder Fellow of Templeton College, Oxford (Oxford Centre for Management Studies) and serves as a visiting lecturer in business strategy at Oxford and at other universities in Europe and the U.S. Find out more at www.ralphwindle.com.