Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Barter/Trade

Image titled Barter Step 17
3 ways to Barter: Wiki-How

"The propensity to truck, barter and exchange one thing for another … is common to all men, and to be found in no other race of animals."
~Adam Smith

"They stoop to pick up golden apples dropped from the tree of industry, and to barter truthlove, and honour for traffic in wool, beetroot-sugar, and potato spirits."  ~Karl Marx

“In a basic agricultural society, it's easy enough to swap five chickens for a new dress or to pay a schoolteacher with a goat and three sacks of rice. Barter works less well in a more advanced economy. The logistical challenges of using chickens to buy books Ilanon would be formidable.” 

Charles Wheelan

"This is intimacy: the trading of stories in the dark." 

~ Elizabeth Gilbert

Wikicommons / Imbre / Shutterstock / Paul Spella / The Atlantic

"The Myth of the Barter Economy"

Midweek Motif ~  Barter/Trade

          In the article above, "The Myth of a Barter Economy," Strauss says that money did not grow from barter, but barter grew from money ~ and  the idea of immediate  exchange dismantled what was more likely a "gift" economy ~ "I give you what you need now and you'll come through for me later" ~ an economy based on intimacy and shared well-being.            
          It made me think of what I have to trade ~ whether as gift or barter.  Poems, editing, teaching communication skills, cooking, sewing ...  back in the day, massage.  Once you start thinking about it, we each have lots of things that we could exchange for something we need.  As Wikipedia puts it: 
Barter is a system of exchange where goods or services are directly exchanged for other goods or services without using a medium of exchange, such as money. It is distinguishable from gift economies in many ways; one of them is that the reciprocal exchange is immediate and not delayed in time.

Your Challenge: Write a new poem in which you depict a real or imagined barter / trade that you see as "a very good deal." 

(Let me know if this is a copywright violation. If it is, I will remove it.)

Life has loveliness to sell,
     All beautiful and splendid things,
Blue waves whitened on a cliff,
     Soaring fire that sways and sings,
And children's faces looking up
Holding wonder like a cup.

Life has loveliness to sell,
     Music like a curve of gold,
Scent of pine trees in the rain,
     Eyes that love you, arms that hold,
And for your spirit's still delight,
Holy thoughts that star the night.

Spend all you have for loveliness,
     Buy it and never count the cost;
For one white singing hour of peace
     Count many a year of strife well lost,
And for a breath of ecstasy
Give all you have been, or could be.

Had I The Choice

by Walt Whitman

Had I the choice to tally greatest bards, 
To limn their portraits, stately, beautiful, and emulate at will,
Homer with all his wars and warriors--Hector, Achilles, Ajax,
Or Shakespeare's woe-entangled Hamlet, Lear, Othello--Tennyson's fair ladies,
Meter or wit the best, or choice conceit to weild in perfect rhyme, delight of singers;
These, these, O sea, all these I'd gladly barter,
Would you the undulation of one wave, its trick to me transfer,
Or breathe one breath of yours upon my verse,
And leave its odor there. 

. . . . 

This is an excerpt from the Stanley Moss poem.
(Read the rest HERE)

Please share your new poem using Mr. Linky below and visit others in the spirit of the community—
(Next week Sumana’s Midweek Motif will be ~ Water)


  1. Good morning! Have a wonderful marvelous day!

  2. Good morning to you too Susan - although its afternoon here!
    Cheers for the inspiration which as taken a few hours in writing - when I really should be decorating. Never mind - there is always tomorrow...
    Will be back soon to read others.
    Anna :o]

    1. Watch out with those "should be"s---they can trap you! I'm glad you're here.

  3. Hi ho, this prompt reminded me of a conversation I will never forget.

    1. I love when that happens. Good day, Ms. Sherry.

  4. Birds are in my post! Happy Wednesday to all of you. It is hot and sunny here.

  5. Hello Susan! A great prompt. I'm bargaining with the ferryman today 😯. Wish me luck!

    1. Luck to you, Vivian, though you really don't need it. Glorious day to you.


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