Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Infinite

     On page 53 of the February 6 issue of The New Yorker I recently found and enjoyed a poem entitled "The Infinite" by Charles Simic.  Here are its opening lines:

     The infinite yawns and keeps yawning.
     Is it sleepy?
     Does it miss Pythagoras?

     Remembering my introduction to the infinite via convergent sequences and series long ago in Calculus class, I drafted my own little poem -- a syllable-snowball, growing layer by layer!

       Filling my coffee cup      by JoAnne Growney

       cup begins
       half full –- I add
       more --  one-quarter-cup    
       to get three-fourths, one-eighth
       to reach seven-eighths,  next add      
       one-sixteenth,   and  so  on,   never
       overflowing  --  almost . . . almost  full.           


  1. I see I am not the only one interested in both mathematics and English poetry. For a long time I felt odd for having this set of interests, including working as a researcher in philosophy of mathematics followed by teaching English literature and poetry!

  2. Charles Simic is always BRILLIANT! Thank you.