What They’ve Said About The Poetry of Business Life
PublishedAugust 12, 2012 Category

What They’ve Said About The Poetry of Business Life

‘Undoubtedly one of the most politically incorrect books for a long time, and a breath of fresh air as a result. This is a book that impresses throughout… makes its point in a particularly innovative way…
A treasure trove of quotations.’

‘Professional Manager’
Jeremy Kourdi

Head of Publications
Institute of Management

‘City Director readers are among the first to discover that Windle/ Ramsbottom is about to break free. His escape mechanism is a glorious volume which encompasses poems since the invention of the written word. The many business contributors confidently demonstrate that human sensitivities are compatible with effective performance.’

‘City Director’
Institute of Directors

London Newsletter

‘I wish I could steal into corporate headquarters all across the country and replace every one of those pop-management books with collections like this one. It would greatly humanize American business. Poetry has a way of making life and work meaningful – something that the management ‘gurus’ have not yet stumbled upon.’

‘Across the Board’
Journal of the Conference Board
Ted Kooser
Vice President
Lincoln Benefit Life Co
Poet and Writer

‘Another line I remember from Anthony and Cleopatra is “I yet have room for six Scotches more”. This, I am sure, is what people will feel when they read this volume. Anything to stop people feeling there is one world called Art, that their imagination rules; and another called Management Life, reduced to a ratio. I am for the Ralph Windle line.’

Sir Peter Parker
Chairman, Mitsubishi UK

‘Well, you’d be surprised. Across the Management Page desk comes an anthology, The Poetry of Business Life, whose revelatory function is to assert the neglected truth that the world of work is not something separate from everyday life but a fundamental part of it.’

The Observer
Simon Caulkin

Management Page

‘Those who say that poetry and business are incompatible should get hold of this splendid anthology, edited by Ralph Windle, whose own poetry appeared in the Financial Times and elsewhere under the name Bertie Ramsbottom.

It is an extraordinarily successful anthology ranging from the Greek poets of 500 BC through to modern poets such as W.H. Auden, Ogden Nash and Peter Porter. It includes some splendid poems by American Dana Gioia, formerly Marketing Vice President, General Foods…

It manages to be exceptionally fresh, moving and of a high literary standard.’

Freedom Today
Michael Ivens C.B.E.

‘Yorick’. Director,
Aims of Industry.
Society of British Poets

‘The anthology reached me on my arrival back from Italy. I have been devouring it in bed ever since, and I have to report that it keeps me awake long after I should have turned on my side! It is splendidly conceived, organised and delivered, and there are lots of lovely gems; few shine as lightly as your own. Congratulations! I hope it sells and sells and sells, thus bringing a bit of cultivation to the arid deserts of too many of our businesses.’

From the best-selling author of ‘The Age of Unreason’ and ‘The Empty Raincoat’
Charles Handy
Writer, broadcaster.
Visiting Professor, London Business School.
Former Faculty Fellow, Sloan School of Management, USA

‘This little book should be in every corporate library in the land. The Poetry of Business Life is a collection of poetry reflecting the agony, the elation, the absurdity, and the tedium of business life. Money, markets, work, power, corporate life, and commuting are all allotted their slot.’

Business Information Review
USA, 1998

‘Three years ago this column noted that good poems about business were thin on the ground, and serious ones probably non-existent. Readers did however rally to the help of Ralph Windle who was putting together an anthology of business poetry to prove me wrong.

Ralph has proved his point. The Poetry of Business Life includes poems from the shop-floor to the boardroom. Totally unknown poets rub shoulders with Auden and Betjeman. Business mandarins such as Sir Jeremy Morse and Sir Nicholas Goodison make their bow as poets. Money and markets, politics and power are all celebrated in poetry of surprising verve and power.

Warmest congratulations on pulling it off.’

The Sunday Times
Godfrey Smith

Columnist and Wit

‘The editor’s eye for the literary quality of the poems is acute… The contemporary selections by men and women who are themselves employed in business are particularly moving, and they carry a weight of authenticity that their fellows will recognise. This book should appeal not only to poetry readers, but to those who desire a deeper view of the interior life of people at work.

It’s a needed addition to two genres: poetry anthologies and business writing.’

Professor Roy Doughty
University of California at Berkeley

Center for Ethics and Social Policy

‘Your anthology is marvellous – and I have read it from cover to cover. What a tour-de-force of scholarship, experience, wisdom and true wit you’ve managed to combine in a unique work…’

Henry M Boettinger
Former Vice-President, Corporate Policy, AT&T.

‘The Poetry of Business Life, edited by Ralph Windle is an unusual collection on every aspect of business life, serious and humorous, the results of a three year search.

We list it among books that, because of their uniqueness, special features or different approach could have a better-than-average chance of being noticed.’

The Bookseller
Ones to watch

‘Ralph Windle’s The Poetry of Business Life, unearths a bevy of businessmen and women who, inspired by their working lives, have felt the urge to express themselves in verse. It has taken Windle three years to put this book together and the result is a highly readable collection, written with humour and occasional anger, which reveals the human side of people in the worlds of business and finance. It is full of delightful vignettes…’

Securities and Investment Review
Clare Beesley
Poets at Work

‘There is absolutely nothing else like it! I am impressed by the scope and depth of the volume.

I read through the table of contents with the growing conviction that this could be the book on the subject.

It brings together all sorts of work that people don’t know or haven’t connected. The introduction is also fine – straight forward, frank and personal.

At any event, bravo! Both business people and literary people should see it. A superb book .’

Prize winning writer,
Poet, critic, ex Vice-President General Foods
Dana Gioia
Chairman, Federal Endowment for the Arts

‘Ralph Windle is a former fellow of Templeton College, Oxford and the author of an anthology The Poetry of Business Life, a
Collection that together with David Whyte’s The Heart Aroused,published in the same year of 1994, had laid out an agenda for discourse between poetry and management.

These two books are essential reading;… they also offered emotional succor to many managers, consultants, business people and academics…’

‘Management Decision’
Special Edition 2006

‘I love this anthology, it was such a splendid idea to put it together. I very much like the light and shade in the contributions selected; wish I’d had copies of Outplacement Blues for the group of ‘outplaced’ executives I was with last Friday. It captures the anger (with themselves and their company) and fear (of life after the job) so many of them expressed.

The Bertie Ramsbottom poems have a bitter-sweet character – combining humour with really sharp insight.’

The Money Programme
Michael Robinson
Producer and Presenter

‘This anthology is a delight, and may it do very well in all ways. A brilliant stroke to realise business poetry was a largely untouched, uncollected theme; and it aspires to the condition of a work of reference as well as a poetry anthology.’

William Oxley
Former City Accountant.
Writer, critic.

‘Here at last, to join distinguished verse anthologies on every conceivable subject – the first international collection of the poetry of business life!

The book is entertaining, a sheer pleasure to read, a gold-mine of quotations for the corporate speech writer. But cumulatively it builds a compellingly different picture of what business is really like for the people in it. As poetry best can, it releases those emotional aspects of business life which find little expression in the narrow language of balance sheets and accounting arithmetic.

This is a book which everyone in business can enjoy and should read. It also crosses the boundaries of the ‘business book’ into the wider literature of quality and style.’

European Management Journal
Inge Adams

Ecole des Affaires
de Paris (E.A.P.)
Paris • Oxford