Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The gift of a poem

     In this holiday season of giving, sometimes the gifts are poems -- and sometimes mathy poems.  A few days ago, "Zero" by Robert Creeley (1926-2005) arrived in an email from Francisco José Craveiro de Carvalho, a Portuguese mathematician who loves poetry and has translated many math-related poems into his native language -- a seeker and finder of such poems who shares them with me.  (See also 23 October 2010 and 17 September 2013.)  At this time of giving and receiving, enjoy playing with these thoughts of zero as nothing or something.

          Zero     by Robert Creeley

                              for Mark Peters

          Not just nothing,
          Not there's no answer,
          Not it's nowhere or
          Nothing to show for it -- 

          It's like There's no past like
          the present. It's
          all over with us.
          There are no doors . . .

          Oh my god! Like
          I wish I had a dog.
          Oh my god!
          I had a dog but he's gone.

          His name was Zero,
          something for nothing!
          You like dog biscuits?
          Fill in the blank.

Happy Holidays to all and warm good wishes for the New Year, 2015 !

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