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Bill Gross, Poet

The bond king is going to take some time to do the things he never had.
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Ohio-born poet William Gross wrote some lines Tuesday about his favorite continent, the “brutal, yet fair” Africa. This is Gross's first major work since his 1997 opus, “Everything You've Heard About Investing Is Wrong!” Please enjoy.


If I sang a song about Africa
Of the spotted giraffe, the hyena's laugh
Of the fiery sun rising to meet the day
With a stillness belying the lion's evening meal;
Would Africa sing a song about me?

If I remembered a time once in Africa,
Bride at my shoulder, chasing a leopard's shadow
With human eyes and Nikon shutters wide apart
Invading the solitude of blackened ancestors;
Would Africa remember a time once with me?

If I knew a story of Africa
Capturing a disappearing continent for a moment in time
Fleeting – far briefer than the earth's reign;
At least until its dusty death,
Would Africa know a story of me?

Bill Gross
- With appreciation for Isak Dinesen

In keeping with the theme of Americans versifying about that continent, here's an excerpt from Toto's “Africa.”

The wild dogs cry out in the night
As they grow restless, longing for some solitary company
I know that I must do what's right
As sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti
I seek to cure what's deep inside, frightened of this thing that I've become

It's gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
There's nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do
I bless the rains down in Africa
Gonna take some time to do the things we never had


Photo: Bob Riha Jr/Getty Images

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