Friday, June 16, 2017

Fondness for numbers . . .

     Today I am looking back to a posting on 23 April 2011 that includes the first stanza of one of my favorite mathy poems; here is a copy-and-paste of a part of that day's entry.
      A poem that offers affection for mathematics is "Numbers," by Mary Cornish, found as Poem 8 at Poetry 180 (a one-a-day collection of poems for secondary students) as well as at The Poetry Foundation. Cornish's poem begins with this stanza:

     I like the generosity of numbers.
     The way, for example,
     they are willing to count
     anything or anyone:
     two pickles, one door to the room,
     eight dancers dressed as swans.   

Not posted in 2011, here also is the second stanza of "Numbers":

     I like the domesticity of addition --
     add two cups of milk and stir --
     the sense of plenty:  six plums
     on the ground, three more
     falling from the tree.

     Cornish's poem goes on thoughtfully to consider multiplication, subtraction, and division (even or with remainders).   In addition to the links above, "Numbers" also may be found, along with 150 other poems having mathematical connections, in Strange Attractors:  Poems of Love and Mathematics (A K Peters, 2008) now available, in addition to print versions, as an e-book.

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