I offer a sample below from a poem by Jane Hirshfield entitled "Mathematics" and invite you to go here to read the entire poem -- and to reflect on it. What does the poem say that is true about mathematics?
from Mathematics by Jane Hirshfield
I've envied those
who make something
useful, sturdy— or
a chair, a pair of boots.
Even a soup,
rich with potatoes and cream.
. . .
Does a poem enlarge the world,
or only our idea of the world?
How do you take one from the other . . .
Jane Hirshfield's "Mathematics” is found online here at PoetryFoundation.org and appears in her collection Given Sugar, Given Salt (HarperCollins, 2001).
Monday, November 11, 2019
Mathematics -- something useful ... or beautiful ...
Posted by JoAnne Growney at 10:19 AM
Labels: Jane Hirshfield
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Really interesting! How do you think mathematics relates? Is that her vision of something useful, or a kind of calculus of what she makes or...?ReplyDelete
My reading of Hirshfield's poem obeys her title and links each of her ideas to mathematics -- something useful, cooking, fixing, wallpaper patterns . . .Delete
And then, toward the end, I wonder -- "Does mathematics enlarge the world or only our idea of the world?"
Ooh, I like that.Delete