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A marble sculpture of ancient Greek wrestlers from 510 BC is part of an exhibition at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens.
AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris
The eternal struggle.
WITH APOLOGIES TO KEATS

We gave our Greek crisis correspondent some time off after getting this dispatch

By Jason Karaian

Greece’s on-again, off-again bailout talks can be maddening for those trying to track the country’s fate. For months, Athens and its creditors have regularly broken apparently unbreakable deadlines, making scant progress in agreeing on new economic reforms in return for desperately needed cash.

This is tricky territory for the news industry. How to keep readers interested in “eleventh hour” negotiations that last for months? Many a tortured metaphor has been deployed, and the well of adjectives is running dry.

Like a neverending episode of Deal or No Deal, it’s enough to make a person go mad. Indeed, it drove this correspondent to poetry.

All the hyperlinked phrases in the verses below come verbatim from Reuters headlines over the past 48 hours. With apologies to poets everywhere, here goes…

Ode on a Grecian economic adjustment program

Patience is wearing thin
At all the endless spin
As the creditors dig in
Especially in Berlin

Call a state of emergency?
To generate more urgency?
And in the meantime
Use Draghi’s lifeline

Lenders have made some big concessions
Greece is stuck in endless recession
But Athens wants to restart talks
Fearing for its banks, bonds, and stocks

If Greece won’t back down
In debt it will drown
On this point there can be no doubt
Finally, time is running out

“Behold! this will be our last attempt,”
Officials say with utter contempt
So if all are keen to bridge the gap
Then why put us through all of this crap?