The Unknown

Hart Seely at Slate Magazine has created found poetry from speech transcripts of various U.S. political figures… Sarah Palin, Donald Rumsfeld, and others.  The example from Donald Rumsfeld below is reproduced in the Wikipedia entry for found poetry, which is what led me to it:

The Unknown

As we know,
There are known knowns.
There are things we know we know.
We also know
There are known unknowns.
That is to say
We know there are some things
We do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns,
The ones we don’t know
We don’t know.

—D.H. Rumsfeld, Feb. 12, 2002, Department of Defense news briefing

See: The Poetry of D. H. Rumsfeld

I chose this text not only for the comic relief, but also because it could describe what we know and don’t know about the effects of technology.

Found poetry is also interesting as text – it is an arrangement or creation at a macro level. It is a creation that depends on the intention of the compiler or poet (the author? not the author?) for its poetic status.  It reminds us that the meaning and intention of a text can be entirely disconnected from the meaning or intention of the original author or creator, and given new meaning by a new culture, creator or circumstance.

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