Friday, May 23, 2003

Harper's magazine has a nice little bit in the Readings section of their latest issue (June 2003). Titled "The Waste Land," it consists of "poems" composed by Hart Seely from statements by Donald Rumsfeld. It says they appear in Pieces of Intelligence, published this month by the Free Press (normally a very conservative publisher, by the way).

Here is one, called "Clarity":

I think what you'll find,
I think what you'll find is,
Whatever it is we do substantively,
There will be near-perfect clarity
As to what it is.

And it will be known,
And it will be known to the Congress,
And it will be known to you,
Probably before we decide it,
But it will be known.

-- February 28, 2003, Department of Defense news briefing

Beautiful, no?

Just the other day I came across another delectable quotable from the nation's poet lariat. I read it in an AP report in the NY Times, but you can still find it here on the Guardian's Web site, in a piece titled "Senate Scraps Low-Yield Nuke Weapons Ban."

The latest poem in the Secretary's oeuvre was composed at a news conference on Tuesday, May 20, as he sought to stress the difference between researching weapons and building them:

" 'It is a study. It is nothing more and nothing less,' he said. 'And it is not pursuing. And it is not developing. It is not building. It is not manufacturing. And it's not deploying. And it is not using.' ''

My God, the man is a genius!

I have long been a fan, if you can call it that, of Rumsfeld's oracular style, having even managed to work one or two of them into my comments on Czech grammar in the class I taught this past semester at NYU.

If the Iraqi Minister of Information can have his own Web site, why can't Donny R?