**Israel Lewis**is the pen name of a polymath who earned his living as a scientist and is a writer in his retirement. His webpage offers a variety of his creations--many of them permeated with mathematics.

I present here one of my favorites, a poem in two voices that includes the mathematician Georg Cantor. On Lewis's website is a prose rendering of the setting that surrounds the poem--and you are invited to visit the website for more information.

**Cantor: Not Eddie**

.....It is intended that this poem be performed dramatically in two voices.

....four....three....two....one...

Snow and ice on the highway

Dull thud crunch

Spray of broken glass

(tinkly)

bones breaking

(snappy)

Zero.

One...

She said

*He had been the lover, always there;*

*all she had to do was pick up the phone.*

*Reliable.*

*Indefatigable.*

*Inexhaustible.*

two....three...

She said

*It was like the national phallus that rises*

*on a grassy hill in Washington*

*but not so pointy on top*

*without flags around*

*and aviation lights,*

*and, of course, not quite not quite*

*so high.*

four.....five....six....

He taught her ecstasy,

the various meanings of infinity.

Do you know, he asked, that there are infinities of

infinities?

And she said,

*Yes, I know.*

*A fellow named*

*Georg*

*Ferdinand Ludwig Phillip*

*Cantor (1845-1918)*

*a German mathematician,*

*inventor of the arithmetic of*

*infinity.*

*No relation to Eddie.*

seven....eight....

She covered it with her fingertips touching,

making a roof with her hands,

and said,

*This will be my temple.*

nine....ten....eleven...

He said, Yes,

the Temple of Aleph and Bet.

The set of all the whole numbers constitutes an infinite set.

Cantor wrote this as Aleph-sub-zero,

calling it (the set of All)

Aleph-Null.

twelve....thirteen....fourteen....

*Oh, that is good, good, keep it going just like that,*

*ah, ahh, ahhh....*

All right, so then we take all possible sets of the collection....

*Yes, yes, the infinite number of collections-- actually*

*two raised to the Alpha-null power-- whereby we*

*have the first transfinite infinity*

*Aleph-one.*

*I love it I love it never let it stop oh good good*

*ah... ahh... ahhh...*

Continuing the process...

*Yes, yes yes, to Aleph-infinity.*

And then if one can imagine such a thing,

collecting all the sets in Aleph-infinity...

*Bet-null! Aleph and Bet, the Temple*

*OF!*

And, as before....

*The process,*

*Yes, yes, the PROCESS as beFORE! YES! YES!*

*BET-- in-- FIN-- I-- teeEEE-- eee-- e.*

five.... four... .three....two....one....

zero.

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