Sunday, January 15, 2012

Average, more or less . . .

The wit of American poet J. V. Cunningham (1911–1985) is here applied to statistics.

   Meditation on Statistical Method      by J. V. Cunningham 

   Plato, despair!
   We prove by norms
   How numbers bear
   Empiric forms,

   How random wrong
   Will average right
   If time be long
   And error slight,
   But in our hearts
   Curves and departs
   To infinity.

   Error is boundless.
   Nor hope nor doubt,
   Though both be groundless,
   Will average out.

“Meditation on Statistical Method” is found in The Exclusions of a Rhyme: Poems and Epigrams (Ohio University/Swallow Press, 1997) and online (along with additional Cunningham poems) at

1 comment:

  1. f. j. craveiro de carvalhoJanuary 16, 2012 at 7:54 AM

    Very nice poem, JoAnne!

    f. j. craveiro de carvalho