Prose from Poetry Magazine

Haiku Economics

Money, metaphor, and the invisible hand.

I’m an economist. Yet poetry is my first stop on the way to invention—discovery of metaphors. No matter the audience, a model is a metaphor. Not every economist understands that. Poetry can fill the gap between reason and emotion, adding feelings to economics. For example, Horace helps me relate to abstract mathematical theorists—colleagues I openly criticize—with “Gourmet a la Mode”:

It’s not quite enough . . . to sweep up the fish
From the most expensive fish stalls if you don’t know which
Go better with sauce and which, when served up broiled,
Will make your jaded guest sit up and take notice.

I was teaching economics at the Georgia Institute of Technology when I made the haiku-economics connection. I needed to connect with 225 economics, science, and engineering majors—college kids who were being trained to believe that poetry and feelings are not important to, say, the World Bank. At the same time I was reading The Essential Etheridge Knight and falling in love with haiku. I thought about the inability of standard economic models to explain bubbles, crashes, and global inequality—and how market fundamentalists refuse to discuss them. I saw the bridge I needed in this poem:

Invisible hand;
Mother of inflated hope,
Mistress of despair!

Adam Smith, indeed. Perhaps it’s the economists who can learn the most from poets about precision and efficiency, about objectivity and maximization—the virtues, in other words, of value-free science.

Ironically, the benefit of the addition is in the cost. The typical haiku budget constraint is limited by three lines of seventeen syllables. Basho himself understood well the joyful paradox of haiku economics: less is more, and more is better! Each poem is the length of about one human breath. This constraint, though severe, is more than offset by a boundless freedom to feel:

Window reflection—
The baby sparrow sitting,
Listening to glass.

In his heartbreaking Autobiography, John Stuart Mill wrote about his inability to “feel” the economy. “I was in a dull state of nerves,” Mill said. The great philosopher had been force-fed Jeremy Bentham’s cost-benefit morality—so much so that the boy-genius was dubbed “master” of political economy by age thirteen. At twenty he suffered a nervous breakdown, described at length in the same book. Passions and reason were systematically taught and cultivated by economists during the second half of the eighteenth century. But eventually Bentham’s Rationale of Reward replaced Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments, and science thereby justified wholesale neglect of feeling. “From this neglect both in theory and in practice of the cultivation of feeling,” Mill later concluded, “naturally resulted, among other things, an undervaluing of poetry, and of Imagination generally, as an element of human nature.” His personal psychological battle against “hedonistic utilitarianism” and his subsequent breakdown could have been averted, he said, had he valued poetry: “I was wholly blind to its place in human culture, as a means of educating the feelings.”

Nearly two centuries later, how’s the old cultivation-of-feelings-and-imagination-in-economics project coming along? A snail’s pace. “If you were to trace the separation of art from life historically,” says the poet Etheridge Knight in an interview, “you would trace it back to the Greeks when Plato and others made the ‘head thing’ the ideal . . . There was a separation between reason and emotion.” Like Mill, Knight speaks from experience. Until he found poetry, “separation” was Knight’s reality, too. “I died in Korea from a shrapnel wound,” he says, “and narcotics resurrected me. I died in 1960 from a prison sentence, and poetry brought me back to life.”

Plato’s separation of art and life isn’t science, you understand. Science favors Mill’s, Knight’s, and my belief that reason and emotion, speaking and feeling, are physically correlated variables. Speaking and feeling, like teaching and listening, are physical acts, governed by physical laws. “If it’s true that as I’m talking to you bones are moving in your inner ears,” Knight says, “I’m physically touching you with my voice.” Images, sounds, and feelings are thus the original producers of I-to-We and cannot be separated. We cannot be separated. Yet in positive economics, it’s all “value-free science.”

“Generally speaking, a people’s metaphors and figures of speech will come out of their basic economy,” Knight continues:

If somebody lives near the ocean and they fish, their language will be full of those metaphors. If people are farmers, they will use that kind of figure of speech. Metaphors are alive. When they come into being, they are informed by the politics and the sociology and the economy of now. That’s how language is.

That’s how economic language is, too, but with a surprising difference. And this is where poets can help to fix the economy. It turns out that economic theory is overly dependent on fictional devices, whereas poetry, as Knight shows, trucks in the real.

Consider again the dominant metaphor of market economics: Adam Smith’s “invisible hand.” Proponents of the invisible hand theory claim that free trade between rational, self-interested people and nations leads—as if by an invisible hand—to higher wealth. Some take this to mean that collective attempts to steer economic outcomes (such as by giving welfare payments to the poor, or by giving financial aid to foreign nations) will naturally backfire. People are already buying low and selling high, doing their best, the invisible talking hand says privately to economists. And the economy itself, here in the now, in 2011? Mother of inflated hope. Mistress of despair.

Originally Published: January 3rd, 2011

Stephen T. Ziliak is a trustee and professor of economics at the Roosevelt University. His most recent book is The Cult of Statistical Significance (University of Michigan Press, 2008).

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  1. January 4, 2011
     Brian

    This is an excellent paradigm for thinking
    about economics. I love it!

  2. January 12, 2011
     Beth Lewis Samuelson

    I suggest this book: Watts, Michael. (Ed.). The Literary Book of Economics. A collection of excerpts from fiction and drama dealing with the economics of life.

    "And there is no subject that does not belong to the Poet; manufacturers and stock brokerage, as much as sunsets and souls; only the things placed in their true order are poetry; but displaced, or put in kitchen-order, they are unpoetic." ~Emerson

  3. January 12, 2011
     dp

    Capitalism
    Poor transfer wealth to the rich
    Working as designed

  4. January 13, 2011
     C B Borde

    No. The real culprit:
    Government intervention
    slips away scot free.

  5. January 13, 2011
     Bradford Tuckfield

    Saying that a bad recession demolishes the idea of the invisible hand is going a little far. Recessions are inevitable parts of the economic cycle and people have been been wealthier in the last ten years or so than at any other time in history. And I don't think that economic theory entirely rests on the fictional notion of the invisible hand, I think that the invisible hand is a pedagogical device that helps to intuitively understand the growth of wealth as backed up by a significant body of econometric theory which does not overtly rest on the idea of the invisible hand.

  6. January 14, 2011
     greg

    no they havent its a damn lie (or at least misconception) that people in the last 10 years have been wealthier than ever. in real terms wages have fallen (in the Uk at the very least and in most developed nations i believe) and the inequality gap has widened. you are confusing the cheap availability of consumer and tech goods with wealth the invisible hand has never worked because its not there. it is simply a delusion and an irrational belief (particularly as even in concept it relies on a rationality which does not exist in people en mass) neo-liberal capitalism will always favor the rich, those with less money have less economic and social power. its a form of capitalism peddles false notions of fairness deriving from markets etc while in reality the money simply flows up and doesnt come back down, its not redistributed out

  7. January 14, 2011
     Mer

    Professor Ziliak, thank you for speaking of
    metaphor in the context of economic
    science. Your effort points to the necessary
    shift that we must make, away from the
    cultish belief in the inherent value of
    money, and back to the study of
    economics as a branch of physical science,
    as founded by Gotfried Leibniz. We create
    our economy after all; why, then, must we
    submit to becoming a slave of it?

  8. January 15, 2011
     Philip Thrift

    The GOP's job?
    Keep the money flowing up
    To the Richie Rich

  9. January 16, 2011
     Stephen Cahaly

    Haiku is about spirit, not brevity, certainly not about economy. A Japanese sense of spirit would see that the first "haiku" is not even a poem, and "listening to glass" is a bit laughable. "To glass" is redundant, a good example of excess Basho had once been at such pains to avoid.

  10. January 20, 2011
     David Solie

    Currency talk-
    The counting never ending,
    Always wishing for more.

  11. January 26, 2011
     Steve Grube

    Reaching for yield
    Grasp and shake with the devil
    What kind of deal

  12. January 26, 2011
     Steve Grube

    Frozen pork bellies,
    Do I go short the deferred?
    I skate on thin ice.

  13. January 31, 2011
     Ian Tang

    Who cares any more?
    Finance will end in horror....
    Absolutely mad.

  14. February 7, 2011
     Troy Camplin

    Great stuff here. Some of us have already been investigating the connections between literature and economics:

    http://theliteraryorder.blogsp...

  15. October 22, 2011
     Ashley LaCour

    I found this article very interesting the way the author talks about economics and poetry as if they go hand in hand. Most people would think how does economics have anything to do with poetry? I like that the author uses poetry to teach economics and that alone can make economics itself more interesting and perhaps easier to learn about. I agree that poetry is a way of teaching feelings. I also agree with that people's figure of speech come from where they live. For instance my grandmother grew up on a farm and a lot of her metaphors relate to farm life. I never realized this until I read the article.

  16. October 22, 2011
     Germaine Hunter

    Who would've thunk it, the idea that Economics and poetry could ever be
    correlated!!! Aaahhh i really enjoyed this. I love poetry and every
    economics class i've ever taken i actually enjoyed it, so to see the two
    put together so well done, kudos to you. I think looking at economics
    through poetry might make it easier to learn and more enjoyable for
    others.

  17. October 24, 2011
     Tom Triumph

    A wonderful article. Thank you for insisting on poetry being about all facets of life.

    As to the free-market debate, from Adam Smith on, there has been an assumption of transparency and honesty so that consumers can make intelligent decisions. Much of the analysis of the fall has revealed covert transactions, deals loaded with conflicting interests, and a dash of immoral dealings. An economy ruled by thieves protected by the "buyer beware" mantra cannot thrive.

    Simple regulation regarding transparency and equal playing fields is one solution, coupled with clearing much of the cumbersome regulatory tape away. I don't want to be a consumer or producer in today's economy, which is not where we want to be.

  18. December 7, 2011
     Madeleine Begun Kane

    What a wonderfully insightful article!

    “People want change,”
    claim presidential candidates.
    I’d prefer twenties.

    Madeleine
    Begun Kane

  19. December 28, 2011
     Paul Ziliak

    charting supply and
    demand is only one way
    to understand trade

  20. March 14, 2012
     Lisa L.

    In this article, Stephen T. Ziliak explains how poetry is connected to economics. He “thought about the inability of standard economic models to explain bubbles, crashes, and global inequality—and how market fundamentalists refuse to discuss them” (http://www.poetryfoundation.or.... As an economist professor he needed to figure out how to teach economics in a way where there is reason and emotion applied to it. This is where poetry came into play. With poetry applied to economics, it gave voice where we the people make up the economy and our voices and opinions matter to how we want to shape our world. Not where we are controlled by corporations. With this profound insight of professor Ziliak, it has also helped me open my mind more. Yes were aware of how poetry can connect to everything, but that is the general term. When we go more in depth we can see how poetry combined with the subjects taught in school can go a long way, especially in deeply educating the young minds who are going to make up how the future will be. I believe that in many subjects, students feel a gap between what they are learning at times and why it should even matter to them. And for what this professor saw (the gap) he wanted to seal that gap and make a connection. It is this connection and poetry that binds reality and our feelings together making it important to how we live our lives.

  21. March 15, 2012
     Dennis Hong

    The article Haiku Economics, by Stephen T. Ziliak who is
    an economist states/describes the
    relationship/connection between poetry and economics in
    terms of emotion and discovery of metaphor. According to
    the author, “A model is a metaphor.” (page 1) I think
    the meaning of “Model” here is all the variables that
    are directly related or linked to economics. It is
    interesting fact that the variables/model could be or
    being one type of a metaphor in context of economic.
    According to the article, it says “Not many economist
    understand that.” (page 1) Indeed, I never thought that
    the poetry in some way could have a connection to
    economic. Professor Ziliak argues that “Poetry can fill
    the gap between reason and emotion, adding feelings to
    economics.” (page 1) It was little too vague to
    understand its meaning at the first time. How is it
    possible for the poetry to fill the gap between reason
    and emotion to economics? I think the “Reason” in this
    case is the potential variables that control/cause the
    real-time economy that has huge impact on people in the
    meaning of “living.” Obviously, people will have a
    reason either to accept in terms of answering or doubt
    in terms of asking. Consequently, “Feelings” in this
    case is our attitude toward the economic, moreover
    toward a better life because everyone seek for a better
    life. Professor Ziliak says “Each poem is the length of
    about one human breath.” (page 1) I agree with his
    statement because if economic is to be
    describes/represented as some sort of untouchable thing,
    poetry, on the other hand could be described/represented
    as something that is touchable. What I mean by this is
    simple. It is depressing but very bona fide reality that
    there are always a limited organizations, institutions,
    corporations or people that have actual influences on
    economy in terms of shaping it or to improve it. Because
    the voices or opinions of nearly whole general public
    are often uninfluential or ignored, (not mattered) I
    think the economic is something that is not easily
    shapeable or touchable by ordinary people. However, the
    poetry, on the other hand easily conveys the actual,
    real-time vibe to the public of individual’s voices or
    opinions which everyone can play a part. Although the
    above mentioned statements may not seem persuasive
    enough, the professor Ziliak have noticed the realistic
    gap. Therefore, he made the haiku-economic connection to
    teach for a better understanding while avoiding the
    fixed thoughts that nearly everyone has. “Metaphors are
    alive,” (page 2) says Professor Ziliak. Indeed,
    metaphors are everywhere and formed into many shapes to
    be touched. Each person has a different metaphor and I
    think it is very important how we essentially connect it
    to real life for living. To sum up, it is very important
    to realize about the idea that economic and poetry are
    correlated and matters. By reading this article, I’ve
    had an opportunity to open my fixed idea wider.

  22. October 20, 2012
     Eleni

    In this article, Ziliak discusses the unthinkable correlation between
    poetry, specifically haikus, and the economy. He described his
    realization of the connection whilst teaching a college level economy
    course. It is certainly true that the economy and poetry are seemingly
    not connected. However, Ziliak craftily explains how haikus, with this
    simplicity and small words, created a connection to the language of
    economics and bridges a gap between students who are taught to think
    creatively and the economics students who are taught that creativity is
    unimportant in a money-oriented field.

  23. March 19, 2013
     McKenzie H

    The article that Stephen Ziliak wrote, Haiku Econmics is able to use
    literature to inspire his economics students as a way to connect to real
    life insights. The article is a great example also of how both economics
    and poetry connect, while being able to keep them both seperated to
    their own fields. Further into the article, the reader is able to hear a
    relation to Plato and the love he had for Science, Art, and Life. The article
    says, "... There was a seperation between reason and emotion," and I
    think that within that phrase it is important to know reality for what it is
    worth and dig to find something meaningful to ourselves, similar to how
    poetry was for Knight.

  24. March 20, 2013
     vbetkhen

    There is a lot of information that Ziliak throws to the reader in a short
    article. I believe that Stephen is trying to engage different kind of
    people into discussion about economics. He is trying to persuade
    everyone to follow and express opinions about current state of
    economy. It is clear that Ziliak is upset with how economy is driven
    mostly by scientists. I got an impression that he is trying to emphasize
    that economy is driven by people and not the law of supply and
    demand. I suspect that Ziliak is trying to connect people and clear the
    boundaries and prejudice. In my opinion, Stephen is missing a little bit
    of explicit context and some text is written in abstract form. Exposing
    clear context will help to connect with more people on the subject of
    economy. He truly believes that our economy is in the state of distress
    and I tend to agree with his view.

  25. March 21, 2013
     Peggie F

    I enjoy haikus. I feel like the few words that are used
    can go in great depth. Writing a haiku can be quite
    complex and take a lot of intrinsic thinking to perfect
    what you are trying to say in just a few words. Handling
    values and money can also cause for intrinsic thinking,
    however, I never thought to see the two going hand in
    hand. The use of metaphors in this article has really
    opened my eyes to look at the different terms in which
    poetry can be applied to. I always thought of poetry as
    strictly emotion. A haiku is a perfect example of how
    you must work with what you have, keep structure and
    maintain efficiency, much like with handling economics.

  26. March 21, 2013
     Jason Olson

    I found this article the most interesting of the choices
    mostly because I started the semester posting my
    feelings on poetry being able to exist in the in between
    of reason and emotion as the article states. I did not
    say it quite that way but I was driving at a similar
    point. I find it particularly interesting that this was
    written by an economist. Often these people tend to be
    like the students he talks about when he says they are
    trained to believe that poetry and feeling are not
    important to the world bank. It seems to me that most of
    the time students choose between studying the more
    emotional humanities or the more analytic sciences. I
    thought it was very interesting and refreshing that
    Ziliak has made an attempt to blend the two.

  27. October 29, 2013
     Mellody Reyes

    The article Haiku Economics was a great way to show depth and
    emotion between the two worlds of poetry and economics. Stephen
    Ziliak did an amazing job finding the correlation between the two.
    When Ziliak stated, “I thought about the inability of standard economic
    models to explain bubbles, crashes, and global inequality—and how
    market fundamentalists refuse to discuss them. I saw the bridge I
    needed in this poem”, it showed the connection of poetry to
    economics that was made. This also shows how universal poetry can
    be! No matter who you are or what you do, there will always be a
    poem that you can connect to.

  28. October 29, 2013
     Tracy Cousins

    It is a different way to look at the economy. It can help someone understand the economy by using simple, yet well organized words. Poetry can be used to express deeper thoughts and can get your point across easier. The metaphors used in your haikus do turn your thoughts into real life situations. Teachers always try to find an interesting way to help get their class connected to their class work. Your haikus make people think more outside the box and are very interesting as well.

  29. October 30, 2013
     James Furman

    This is a whole different experience to view poetry and
    how powerful it is. Fitting poetry into economics is a
    great way to get people to learn the economy better. I
    believe it keeps the audience or student alert and
    curious. Some may not understand the poem or Haiku at
    first, so they try to dig in and get its reasoning. When
    you dig into questions, you are more likely to remember
    the answer. How we live shows how we will speak.
    Speaking economics through poetry gives a better
    understanding. Gives you feeling and emotions to connect
    with reasoning. Stephen Ziliak did a great job finding
    the connection between reasoning and feelings. Sometimes
    you need to feel something to understand it.

  30. October 31, 2013
     Migs

    This is a wonderful article to express economics in a
    way that people can relate to. More than relating, it
    makes people more interested in what is being said.
    Also, I like how he makes economics have an emotional
    aspect to it. Metaphors can make any subject more
    interesting. In the article, he mentioned that people’s
    figure of speech come from where they live. I agree with
    this statement. It is much easier to teach people if it
    is related to where they live. I agree with him that
    poetry is not just writing, but really of all aspects of
    life.

  31. October 31, 2013
     Alex

    Reading this article I was struck by Basho's haiku.
    Window reflection-
    The baby sparrow sitting,
    Listening to glass
    It is an excellent metaphor or model for our belief that we, "the baby
    sparrow," understand economics and the world in general when in
    reality we are only seeing a small distorted view of it the "window
    reflection." And that we are being silly listening to, “the glass,"
    economists -market fundamentalists- who believe they understand
    the world and the economic market and yet still believe in an "invisible
    hand" and won't discuss the things they don't understand: bubbles,
    crashes, global inequality, and so much more of the world. I pity the
    baby sparrow and wonder when it will start to fly and see the world as
    it truly is.

  32. October 31, 2013
     Joseph Medina

    This seemingly contrary pulls of emotion and reason is a relationship
    that often preoccupies my thoughts. On the one hand the power of
    reason makes things clear, and frees one from the misery and
    misdirection of falsehood. On the other hand, what value does truth
    have in relation to life if it does not further it and make it richer! What do
    I care whether the earth orbits the sun or the other way around if both
    kill the gods that I used to worship in them, that made life full. Poetry
    bridges the gap between the world we see and the world we feel, by
    using language not surgically, like economics, which ends up leaving out
    of it all the beauty and subtlety of life, but artfully, to capture the way
    life feels. It is about communicating with language the things which
    reason can’t capture.

  33. October 31, 2013
     Brandon Durr

    When I was taking A.P. Economics in high school, my teacher would make economic concepts easier to understand through poetry. She would first deliver the principals to us in the “economic” format, then she would give us a corny rhyme – she probably wasn’t that well versed in poetic genres to write a haiku – that would help us internalize and create parallels between the concepts and real life topics. Economic principles are very direct and calculated; while poems are more expressive and when she gave us economic principles via poetry, I could understand the concepts better because it made more sense. I could remember both the rhyme scheme and the emotions and meaning of the poem more so than the cold calculated theories of econ.

  34. November 16, 2013
     N Anderson

    This was a very interesting article and it in intrigued me with a deeper
    insight in regards to life in general. I truly believe that metaphors can
    speak to someone because it makes whatever your discussing relevant
    to anyone. I related most to the fish analogy and most importantly “the
    invisible hand.” Somehow and someway everything is linked together. I
    didn’t understand how poetry could be related to economics, and even
    metaphors; I guess once you truly think about things and put everything
    in its respective perspective things will always have a meaning with a
    even more detailed meaning. The writer displayed massive creativity
    and helped grasp what he was trying to convey. I am beginning to look
    at life a little differently.

  35. March 18, 2014
     Edward Lavaire

    I found this article the most remarkable to read due to that is written
    by an economist. It was a different way to look at poetry that I’ve
    never though before. Stephen Ziliak mentions, “Poetry can fill the gap
    between reason and emotion, adding feelings to economist,” that’s a
    deeper insight of what poetry is and how it relates to economy and
    life in general. We live in a society where many of us don’t know
    about the economy and seeing poetry in a different perspective can
    help us understand it more. Ziliak stated that Knight says, “Generally
    speaking, a people’s metaphors and figures of speech will come out
    of their basic economy,” this is true if you think about it and dig
    deeper into metaphors used by anyone it connects to how they lived. I
    feel that Ziliak opinion that poetry and economics go hand in hand
    counts not only because he states he loves poetry but also because
    he himself is an economist. This article made me realize that just like
    Ziliak dig to find something meaningful to poetry we should too,
    poetry not only can add feelings to economist but anyone in general.

  36. March 20, 2014
     L. Traylor

    I thought it was amazing how I started reading this with
    my eyes wide shut. I had no personal understanding of
    which way he was going with his proposition of economy.
    He wanted people to understand that poetry is apart of
    everything. The more I read the more my wide shut eyes
    began to open. Stephen Ziliak said that, “Poetry can
    fill the gap between reason and emotion, adding feelings
    to economist.” I took that as saying poetry can be used
    as a filler. I had a spoken word poet recite something
    that gave me a different angle to look at a situation. I
    can now say that a poem filled me in on understanding.
    That means that an economist statement on poetry held
    true. I had to laugh when he used the environment as a
    metaphor as to how to relate poetry to the economy. I
    saw a movie where a guy was a sports commentator and
    related everything to sports. The funny part was people
    who did not watch sports did not have the slightest clue
    what he meant. My wide shut eyes are now fully open.

  37. March 20, 2014
     L. Traylor

    I thought it was amazing how I started reading this with
    my eyes wide shut. I had no personal understanding of
    which way he was going with his proposition of economy.
    He wanted people to understand that poetry is apart of
    everything. The more I read the more my wide shut eyes
    began to open. Stephen Ziliak said that, “Poetry can
    fill the gap between reason and emotion, adding feelings
    to economist.” I took that as saying poetry can be used
    as a filler. I had a spoken word poet recite something
    that gave me a different angle to look at a situation. I
    can now say that a poem filled me in on understanding.
    That means that an economist statement on poetry held
    true. I had to laugh when he used the environment as a
    metaphor as to how to relate poetry to the economy. I
    saw a movie where a guy was a sports commentator and
    related everything to sports. The funny part was people
    who did not watch sports did not have the slightest clue
    what he meant. My wide shut eyes are now fully open.

  38. March 20, 2014
     Tone S.

    I feel the author is right, in today’s economy/form of
    economic that is taught people are not taught to feel
    the economy. I think we have to ask ourselves at least
    once is the invisible hand actually real, or invisible?
    Because everything is of self- interest, people as well
    as objects are up for sell. The Rich get richer and the
    poor remain poor. Simply because everything is self-
    driven we are taught to remove any sense of feeling and
    emotion for the state of the other. This does not
    holistically benefit an economy; it temporarily feeds
    that which it is taught to want. We are taught the
    notion, I think therefore I am, but we neglect the
    notion that I feel therefore I am free. As the author
    states, separating reason and emotion, like separating
    economics and poetry diminishes the people. It is the
    people who make the economy.

  39. October 29, 2014
     D'onna Simon

    I do not agree with how the author is trying to
    contrast economics and engineering with poetry.
    However, poetry is a part of everything but it would
    have probably made more since if he had compared
    poetry to life events of emotions versus a career
    path. I do however agree with the statement Stephen
    said saying that poetry can fill the gap between
    reason and emotion. Poetry always tells untold story
    and is forever portraying some sort of emotion. Each
    person has a different metaphor and I think it is very
    important how we essentially connect it
    to real life for living. To sum up, it is very
    important to realize about the idea that economic and
    poetry are correlated and matters.

  40. October 30, 2014
     Edith Correa

    I do not understand engineering and economics. I enjoy
    poetry, but the comparison between the two was a bit
    hard to understand. I like it when Stephen T. Ziliak
    talks about reason and emotion. An interesting fact that
    was mentioned was when Knight says, “I am physically
    touching you with my voice.” He explains this by saying
    that as he speaks, the bones in people’s ears are
    moving. They are moving because the sounds are being
    heard through the ears and being processed. I found this
    to be very interesting because of the metaphor he used.
    He in a way, is touching us with his voice.

  41. November 4, 2014
     Janet

    I see where Professor Stephen Ziliak is coming from with the relation he made with Poetry and Economics. He sought out a way to help his students learn economic with Haiku and teaches them in an interesting way they probably won’t forget. Haiku Is a Traditional Japanese poetic form, which are 3 a three line poem with seventeen syllables that focuses on images and uses simplicity with intensity. I like how he said, “The typical haiku budget constraint is limited by three lines of seventeen syllables. Basho himself understood well the joyful paradox of haiku economics: less is more, and more is better!”. Professor Ziliak stated that, the economic theory is overly dependent on fictional devices, whereas poetry, as Knight shows trucks in the real. As a professor I believe he really cares about his students and thanks to Professors like Ziliak students think outside the box.

  42. December 14, 2014
     Nicole B.

    I like what you are saying about the use of metaphor,
    but it seems like a jump to go straight from metaphor
    to the reason-emotion separation. A metaphor can be
    purely based in reason without evoking an emotional
    response. Granted that when metaphors are used that
    mirror someones everyday life are used they carry with
    them some degree of emotional weight, I am not sure if
    you can accurately make the claim that simply using a
    metaphor brings brings reason and emotion into the
    same fold. That being said I agree that trying to
    separate the two undercuts our nature as human beings,
    and undercuts the study of the markets we human beings
    enumerate.