A poet on the corporation


In researching an upcoming post, esnl discovered what is perhaps the most concisely eloquent depiction of the modern corporation in an previously unpublished poem in the introduction to an article on ” Corporate Personality and Human Commodification” by Peter d’Errico here.

At the top of the city
in a glass-chromed room
an attorney assures the board of directors
that the corporation is the person
against which any or all action may be taken,
not against each and every director joint or several.
The multiheaded person exhales dry-iced victory
as counsel backs out the door
descending floor after floor
to wait for a cab in the cold.
Nearby a breathing bundle of rags
sits on a grate of steam
and waits just waits
wondering where warmth went.

—Ruth Knight, “Persons”

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