Said the panama hat to the fedora:
“Sins have different prices in hell.”
Said the fedora hat to the panama:
“Yeah, nickel and dime sins, silver-dollar sins,
sins setting you back a century, a grand,
sins you can’t settle under a million bucks,
tin and aluminum sins, brass sins, copper, old gold,
pint and bushel sins, inch and mile sins,
calculated little teapot sins and roaring tornadoes.”

fedora-small.jpg—Carl Sandburg, “Quotations,” in Honey and Salt, (San Diego, CA, USA: Harvest/Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Publishers, 1963), 78.


The Unknown

rumsfeldpiecesofintelligence150×210.jpgAs 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.
Bur there are also unknown unknowns.
The ones we don’t know we don’t know.

February 12, 2002, Department of Defense news briefing

—Donald Rumsfeld, as versified by Hart Seely in Pieces of Intelligence: The Existential Poetry of Donald H. Rumsfeld, (New York: Free Press, 2003), 2.

We Wear the Mask

We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,—
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.

Why should the world be overwise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
___We wear the mask.

We smile, but, O great Christ our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
___ We wear the mask.

Paul Laurence Dunbar[Paul Laurence Dunbar, “We Wear the Mask,” in Selected African American Writing from 1760 to 1910, Arthur P. Davis, Jr., J. Sauders Redding, and Joyce Ann Joyce, editors, (New York: Bantam Books, 1991), 281-282.]