The Poetry of Donald Rumsfeld

In a not-so-recent piece at Slate, Hart Seely celebrates the accidental poetry of our accidental secretary of defense, the most famous example of which is:

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.

—Feb. 12, 2002, Department of Defense news briefing

This week, Studio360 features examples of Rumsfeld’s “poems” set to music (Real Audio link) by artist Phil Kline, surprisingly beautiful. “There’s a little bit of Gertrude Stein in him,” says Kline.

Kline has also set the poems that smoking GI’s often inscribe on the cases of their Zippo lighters to music.

Music: Jorge Ben :: Gilberto Gil e Jorge Ben – Quem a estrada anda

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