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Sierra Daily

Feb 23, 2012

Worst Poem in the Universe?

MaskThanks to the Telegraph for alerting us to this remarkable confluence of bad taste, bad policy, and incredible wealth: a poem engraved on a plaque affixed to a 30-ton iron ore boulder outside the West Australia estate of multi-billionaire mining magnate and poetess Gina Rinehart.

The poem, which consists of eight rhyming couplets, proclaims the benefits of the resources industry and lampoons the government. But its aesthetic quality has come under question, with one critic describing it on Wikipedia as "the universe's worst poem, although many still dispute if it qualifies to be classified as poetry".

It's telling that the cheeky critique appears on Wikipedia and not in the Australian press--a substantial portion of which Rinehart recently purchased. Rinehart, a climate-change denier, was charged with shifting the public debate in Australia over a tax on carbon, which nevertheless cleared its final legislative hurdle last November. She helped fund, for example, an Australian tour by flamboyant climate denier Lord Monckton. Her influence can only grow in the future, given that Forbe's  sees her on track to become the richest woman in the world.

And the poem? You be the judge:

Our Future

The globe is sadly groaning with debt, poverty and strife

And billions now are pleading to enjoy a better life

Their hope lies with resources buried deep within the earth

And the enterprise and capital which give each project worth

Is our future threatened with massive debts run up by political hacks

Who dig themselves out by unleashing rampant tax

The end result is sending Australian investment, growth and jobs offshore

This type of direction is harmful to our core

Some envious unthinking people have been conned

To think prosperity is created by waving a magic wand

Through such unfortunate ignorance, too much abuse is hurled

Against miners, workers and related industries who strive to build the world

Develop North Australia, embrace multiculturalism and welcome short term foreign workers to our shores

To benefit from the export of our minerals and ores

The world's poor need our resources: do not leave them to their fate

Our nation needs special economic zones and wiser government, before it is too late

--Paul Rauber

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