welcome, readers, writers and revellers

This is the blog of Oxford University Poetry Society, where you can get up-to-date news about our upcoming events and poetry readings, dates of poetry workshops, read contributors' poetry, and try a hand at writing your own...

Thursday, 20 November 2008

A Thought on Donald Rumsfeld

You remember that thing about known unknowns and unknown unknowns? No?

The Unknown (Donald Rumsfeld)

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.

It sparked a whole genre of political found poetry.

"On Good and Evil" (Sarah Palin)

It is obvious to me
Who the good guys are in this one
And who the bad guys are.
The bad guys are the ones
Who say Israel is a stinking corpse,
And should be wiped off
The face of the earth.

That's not a good guy.

Okay, so here's my question: what about unknown knowns? Things we don't know we know, but nonetheless we know them. It's kind of like Proust says, "We possess all our memories, but not the faculty of recalling them... What, then, is a memory which we do not recall?"

No comments: