Wednesday, November 27, 2019

I am THANKFUL for . . . mathematics, poetry . . .

Today as I am preparing for Thanksgiving -- with its guests and travel and remembering -- my thoughts have turned back to Carl Sandburg (1878-1967), one of the first American poets whose work I came to know and love.  Here are several lines from Sandburg's "Arithmetic":

from    Arithmetic     by Carl Sandburg

Arithmetic is where numbers fly like pigeons in and out of your head.
Arithmetic tells you how many you lose or win if you know how 
     many you had before you lost or won. . . .
Arithmetic is numbers you squeeze from your head to your hand
     to your pencil to your paper till you get the answer. . . .
If you ask your mother for one fried egg for breakfast and she
     gives you two fried eggs and you eat both of them, who is
     better in arithmetic, you or your mother?
Happy Thanksgiving!

Sandburg's complete poem is available here.  And this link leads to previous postings in this blog of work by Sandburg that has math connections.

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