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[Error: unknown template qotd]Today's poetry is all set to music, and people don't really call it poetry any more, they call it "songs". Some of the lyrics of modern music is easily as far-reaching and has as much impact on people as the poetry of fifty years ago. Not many people read poetry, but nearly everyone listens to music. And everyone has at least one favourite song, about which they say "The words in this song are just the best ever".

So then the next question would be, which songwriters are the best poets?

Going back a few decades I'd have to say Bob Dylan. I don't like his music at all, and he sings worse than even I do, but lyrically his songs are great, and definitely poetic illustrations of the times in which he wrote.

Through the 70s and early 80s I think the best poets were the progressive-rock musicians. Led Zeppelin. Rush. Deep Purple. During the later 80s and 90s this became bands like REM and Red Hot Chilli Peppers (now we're getting into my personal favourites). Now, I must be getting old, I tend not to pick up new bands so much, but I've found a few where the lyrics really speak to me. Creed, for example (damn shame they split up) and Muse.

So I'm going to finish with a "poem", by Michael Stipe of R.E.M.

Everybody Hurts )
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What the heck was the bodysuit? I guess it never reached the backwaters of rural New Zealand. Which was probably a good thing. You don't want to be tramping the bush in pink lycra.

As for work dress code - well, I work in a callcentre and all our customer contact is over the phone, so dresscode is casual. We are supposed to not wear t-shirts with printed things on them, so slogans and bands and stuff like that are not permitted - the shirts have to be plain or with nothing more than a small brand logo (although lots of people do wear t-shirts like that and I don't think anyone was sent home yet). They have to have at least a short sleeve - no muscle tees or vests, no strappy tops for the girls. Shoulders and stomachs must be covered. Trousers must be full length, shorts not permitted (not really a bother, it never gets hot enough in this country that you'd need to wear shorts, and anyway they always have the AC turned on too bloody cold anyway). Footwear is not supposed to include trainers (sneakers) but I guess that's more for safety reasons than anything else - the only time anyone fell on the stairs at work they were rushing down and wearing trainers.

I find it amusing that in a place where almost total freedom of dress is permitted, everyone wears almost exactly the same - jeans and t-shirts.


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