Butterfly Proposal by JoAnne Growney
The future looks sad and scares you.
Don’t let forebodings hush the echoes
of old voices—we need the past to build
high spirits. I’ll write you
into a poem.
A butterfly on your hand proposes life—
a promise drawn at the intersection
of Broadway and Euclid, a fortunate convergence
that counters disillusion. Butterflies
are transient, illogical
while you wear every sort of rule
impalpable and tight. You shrink from praise
and flounder in the caramel of fear’s sweet heat.
Your moth-mind skitters everywhere;
your deeds all are polite.
Twist your finger with rubber bands:
the throb will keep you sane. You don’t
have to fix each broken thing. Adjust your ears;
hear slowly. Into the pauses
After having read this offering, you may wonder if I think it is mathematical. I'm not sure about that -- but for me it is an inner portrait. The poem looks into the mind of a mathematician, a female one. It tells what it finds there. Other portraits of mathematicians may be found at these links: In 2011: December 8 Monsieur Probability, November 13 Portraits of a Mathematician, July 5 Mathematicians at work, July 2 Mathematicians divide, Jan 30 Sonnet for a geometry teacher, Jan 28 Poems starring mathematicians - 8. In 2010, Dec 8 Poems starring mathematicians -- 7, July 20 In the same family -- a poet and a mathematician, May 14 Poems starring Mathematicians -- 6 (Mandelbrot), May 4 Poems starring Mathematicians -- 5, April 28 Poems starring mathematicians -- 4, April 26 Poems starring mathematicians -- 3, April 15 Poems starring mathematicians - 2, April 14 Poems starring mathematicians - 1, March 23 Poetry of Logical Ideas .