What I Know About Epistemology

By John Surowiecki John Surowiecki
As the light goes, go.
Be the rustling in the grass, the fall from
convention's good graces: learn, or someone
will have you filing files or writing writs,
demonstrating cutlery or selling knowledge

door to door; someone might even drop
your lovely life into a factory and have you
derusting rings on the coolant-spouting
turntable of a vertical lathe.
It's best for everyone that what you know

is generally thought of as general knowledge.
You can find it in pool rooms and roadside bars,
in meadows as inviting as beds, in bedrooms
where it whispers like a ribbon untying;
you can even find it in schools. But be careful:

it's dangerous, inescapable and exact
down to every atom of everything there is,
to every name each thing goes by and every
law each thing obeys. And the best part is,
you always know more than you know.

Source: Poetry (April 2003).


This poem originally appeared in the April 2003 issue of Poetry magazine

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April 2003
 John  Surowiecki


John Surowiecki is the author of four books of poetry: Flies (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2012), Barney and Gienka (CW Press, 2010), The Hat City after Men Stopped Wearing Hats (Washington Prize, Word Works, 2007), and Watching Cartoons Before Attending a Funeral (White Pine Prize, White Pine Press, 2003). Surowiecki has also published six chapbooks, most recently Mr. Z., Mrs. Z., J.Z., S.Z (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2011).
Surowiecki . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Humor & Satire, Arts & Sciences, Philosophy

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Poetic Terms Epigram, Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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