From Yellow Springs News (in Antioch, Ohio), an interesting mathy-poetic story by writer Ed Davis -- entitled "Emergent Verse | A Poetry Workshop" -- in which is uses "Mental Math" by poet Maggie Dean and discusses the process of revising by moving toward brevity. The process shown is one that often happens as I write a poem -- it begins with a wordy ramble and over time I am able to improve my word choices and say as much or more with fewer words.
Here's the second section of Dean's poem followed by Davis's revision -- a move toward conciseness (nearly always a goal in mathematics).
II. (from "Mental Math" by Maggie Dean)
I remembered what I wanted to tell her, but by then it was too late.
I wanted to tell my mom that the shirt she bought me for my birthday had
Washed up really well,
I followed the laundering instructions just like she taught me.
This felt like such an important detail at one in the morning that it woke me
out of a deep sleep.
But it was too late to call with this trivial information.
So instead, I did some mental math:
If I’m forty-two, that means my mom is sixty-seven.
If my calculations and predictions are correct,
We’ll have many more birthday shopping trips ahead.
There will be time for me to remember the details I want to tell her.
We’ll have time for frivolous conversations about laundry.
II. (from Ed Davis's revision of "Mental Math" by Maggie Dean)
I wanted to tell my mom that the shirt
she bought me for my birthday had
washed up really well.
I laundered it like she taught me–
such an important detail that it woke
me out of a deep sleep at one a.m.
Too late to call, so instead,
I did some mental math.
If I’m forty-two, then mom is sixty-seven.
We’ll have many shopping trips ahead.
Time for all I want to tell her, including
frivolous conversations about laundry.
. . .something's lost and something's gained . . .