Truths Google Can’t Provide

Students in my new literature elective and I read the poem “Questions” by Rachel Richardson this week. You can (and should) read Richardson’s original poem here: “Questions”

We then crafted our own versions of “Questions,” using different Google Search questions and different truths. I’m posting mine first, as I am thrilled to be writing alongside my students in this class. Then you’ll find student versions (from those who granted permission to share).

If there’s one true thing, it’s that
Google will make money off us no matter what.
If we want to know
the best backpack for back-to-school
(as it seems we do)
the best morning routine for school
(as it seems we do)
what hairstyle is on trend:
the monster is ready for its feeding.
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold
is a line by William Butler Yeats, and
many in Wyoming have asked, apparently,
How to kiss. Also
In California, why do dogs poop?
Who will remember me when I’m gone
May be up there, generating ad revenue, but not
As high as why do I sweat so much,
Or why do people lie.
How long will my name generate results
And will anyone
Bother to click on them even so.
Google will return with its innumerable
Grains of sand numerated:
How to say goodbye,
What to eat for dinner,
What is my astrological sign,
Why do we worry,
Am I gone forever, never to come back.

Haley’s “Questions”:

If there is one true thing, it’s that

Google will make money off us no matter what.

If we want to know

answers to life’s most morbid questions.

Like why do we die?

When will I die?

What’s happening to the U.S.?

Or maybe you don’t like morbid things?

So here you are four A.M. googling

Is Elon Musk single?

Is Brendon Urie lonely?

Or do penguins have knees?

Here we are distracting ourselves.

Time after time we stay up till sunrise and avoid

Our real problems. The messes we’ve made.

We’re distracting ourselves with questions like if the

last remaining member of Panic at The Disco is lonely.

The man’s worth eight million dollars

odds are he has friends.

Maybe one night that we’ve been up for 12 hours straight

We’ll all collectively open google and search

Who am I?

What am I doing with my life?

What are we doing here?

How do I fix things?

Maybe then we will truly break the internet.


Carter’s “Mostly Stolen Google Poem”:


If there’s one true thing

It’s that Google will make money off us no matter what.

If we want to know

What the most popular book in America is

(as it seems we do)

What the most popular TV show in the world is

(as it seems we do)

What is the population of the Earth:

The engine is ready for our desire

To be or not to be: that is the question,

Is a line from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, and

Many have asked, apparently,

Why did I get married. Also

How to make money online. Am I pretty

May be up there, generating

High cost-per-click, but not

As high as how to lose weight,

What time is 1 AM PT in my region.

So many things I wanted to ask you,

Now that you’re gone, and your texts

Bounce back to me

Undeliverable. Praise to

The goddess of the internet search, who returns

With her basket of grain,

67,000 helpful suggestions

To everything we request:

How to play Fortnite,

What to do in a power outage,

How old is the Queen,

How to screenshot on Mac,

What Friends character am I,

Why do we yawn,

Where are you now, come back


Taylor’s “Questions”:

If there’s one true thing, it’s that

Google will make money off us no matter what.

If we want to know

How Tom Petty passed away or his final years of age

(as it seems we do)

How fidget spinners came to be and gone

(as it seems we do)

How much destruction Irma caused fellow humans:

To a site we trust, that is now our new superhuman.

Questions line up at the door, scurrying for an answer

To every inquiry from WebMD saying you have cancer.

Not every site is trustworthy, but still we proceed,

Even if the website is just full of tumbleweeds.

Yet, with every page we open and close,

Google is finding ways to make more money,

I suppose.

Within .46 seconds, Google is able to define itself,

Within .46 seconds, I can’t even find myself.

You treat the popular search engine like an old friend,

You still ask and can’t quite apprehend,

Why you still don’t have a girlfriend.

Face to face contact is not apart of today’s trends,

Because, at least you know, in the end

Google will still be your “friend”.

He is not a fake person, just not authentic,

Otherwise, you may be experiencing a hallucinogenic.

But with everything we request from a soulless

Search engine,

We still ask questions beyond our minds retention:

What is the function of a rubber duck,

How old is Donald Trump,

Is it going to rain today,

What is your name,

I don’t know,

It’s all the same.


Klaire’s “Questions”:

If there’s one true thing, it’s that

Google will make money off us no matter what.

If we want to know

who won the Super Bowl in 2015

who won the Mayweather vs McGregor fight,

Google is there to tell us.

What is the weather going to be like tomorrow afternoon

Rain or Shine?

how many windmills are in Iowa

how to play Sims,

Why did you leave me? Where did you go?

how to use a waffle iron

what time is it in Florida.

There’s so many questions

I need you to answer.

Where’s a good place in the area for a picnic?

Praise to

the goddess of the internet search, who returns

with all the answers I need.

Where was Adam Sandler on Tuesday?

Who will Odell Beckham be playing for this year?

Why are there clouds in the sky?

Please come back, will you come home?


Sadie’s “Questions”:


If there’s one true thing, it’s that

Google will make money off us no matter what.

If we want to know

How many wins Ninja has in Fortnite

(as it seems we do)

When the next episode of Roseanne airs

(as it seems we do)

What memes seem to be sweeping the nation right now:

Google is at the ready, waiting for our desired questions.

Wonder implies the desire to learn

Is a line by Aristotle, and

Many people have wondered even the most ridiculous,

In order to learn what they already don’t know.

Wonder leads to desire,

Desire can lead to greed.

What happens when we don’t find the answers we want?

Greed floods us, infects us until we finally find that answer,

Even if it’s completely wrong.

Google holds an apple full of poison,

Able to lead us away from what is right and to what is wrong.

Why fidget spinners became popular,

Why Fortnite is better than PUBG,

Why Hannah Baker committed suicide,

Why Pennywise stalks children for food.

All these questions have answers, but what we find

May not satisfy our greed and desire to know,

Not like opinions do.

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