Recently Irish poet and New Yorker poetry editor Paul Muldoon read at the Folger Shakespeare Library -- and, sadly, I missed the event. To note the occasion, however, I turned to a Muldoon collection on my shelf, purchased a dozen years ago when I heard him read -- a lively and enjoyable performance, with wit and gusto -- at Bucknell University's Stadler Poetry Center.
I have not found significant mathematical imagery in Muldoon's work -- but here are several stanzas from his "Hopewell Haiku" that include numbers.
XLI by Paul Muldoon
Jean paints one toenail.
In a fork of the white ash,
quick, a cardinal.
In a slow puddle
two dragonflies, Oxford blues,
rest on their paddles.
I've upset the pail
in which my daughter had kept
her five -- "No, six" -- snails.
Also, a stanza from Muldoon's "Long Finish" that gives us several numbers:
The wonder is that we somehow have withstood
the soars and slumps in the Dow
of ten years of marriage and parenthood,
its summits and its sloughs--
that we've somehow
managed to withstand an almond-blossomy
five years of bitter rapture, five of blissful rows
(and then some
if we count the one or two to spare
when we've been firmly on cloud nine).
. . .
These stanzas are from Muldoon's 1998 collection, Hay -- and I found them in my bookshelf copy of Paul Muldoon Poems 1969-1998 (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2001).
And don't forget to write your own Haiku to send to Mars -- see contest details in my 25 May 2013 post.