Sunday, February 12, 2012

Be My Valentine

Unlike many newspapers, the British Guardian publishes poems -- and, on February 10, 2012, they offered a selection to celebrate the upcoming Valentine's day. Included, among work by more than a dozen notables, are poems by Wislawa Szymborska, John Donne, Derek Walcott (whose poem "Love After Love" is one of my favorites), Sir Walter Raleigh, Lord Byron, and Carol Ann Duffy -- and a poem by John Fuller that is seasoned with some mathematical terminology. You will need to visit the Guardian article online for the whole of Fuller 's poem, "Valentine," but here are several snippets to whet your interest. (Enjoy the fun of rhyming mathematics with attics!) 

from  Valentine       by John Fuller

     The things about you I appreciate
     May seem indelicate:

          . . .
     Sometimes I feel it is my fate
     To chase you screaming up a tower
     Or make you cower
     By asking you to differentiate
     Nietzsche from Schopenhauer.
     I'd like successfully to guess your weight
     And win you at a fête.

          . . .
     I like your cheeks, I like your nose,
     I like the way your lips disclose
     The neat arrangement of your teeth
     (Half above and half beneath)
     In rows.

          . . .
     I like your wrists, I like your glands,
     I like the fingers on your hands.
     I'd like to teach them how to count,
     And certain things we might exchange,
     Something familiar for something strange.
     I'd like to give you just the right amount
     And get some change.

          . . .
     I'd even like you if you were Bride
     Of Frankenstein
     Or something ghoulish out of Mamoulian's
     Jekyll and Hyde.
     I'd even like you as my Julian
     Or Norwich or Cathleen ni Houlihan.
     How melodramatic
     If you were something muttering in attics
     Like Mrs Rochester or a student of Boolean

          . . .

Several previous postings on this blog have offered love poems related to mathematics and mathematicians; these include 10 November 2011, 30 August 2011, 12 February 2011, and 20 July 2010.

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