Thursday, February 1, 2007

Mrs. Olson Was Right -- I Did Use It Again!


This week's prompt at Poetry Thursday put the fear of eleventh grade back into me. We were to write a mathematical style proof of something. Having no math background at all, I thought for sure I'd be stumped.
Luckily, I turned to the suggested website, Math Words, and I found that math is interested in some really poetically significant things, like infinitiy and equality and identity. Who knew?

Marriage as Mathematical Equation

On any variable day, we two
(whole numbers, divisible
by the space between us

in bed, the span
of hours in our days)
comprise within us

and without us an infinite
number of possibilities (hero
villain friend lover stranger

worker partner angel fiend)
crammed into a finite
space (our imperfect skins

stretched across 412 bones, countless
cells, sinew, muscle fibers). Add
or subtract anything to this equation

(tone of voice at the end
of the night, the desire,
but not the act, to hurl dirty dishes

against the wall) and the equation
remains unchanged. Multiply this
unknown, undetermined quantity

of days left, by the unspeakable
kindnesses we two can create
(squeeze of the right shoulder, kiss

that still sends shocks shooting
through fingers and toes), the equation
evolves. This shift

may be immeasurable (two
millimeters closer in bed when
we sleep, one more half second

tangled in each other’s limbs)
or mathematically insignificant (one moment
less silence), but nonetheless present and counted.

16 Comments:

Cam said...

A great poem. Thanks for sharing.

Regina Clare Jane said...

This was truly wonderful... I can so relate!

gkgirl said...

it was grade ten algebra
for me
in which i brought home
a mark of
six percent
in my report card
that caused me to go
for the words
in this prompt also...
and funny,
i was drawn to finite
and infinity as well...

i love this,
i really do...
i had to go back and reread
it a couple of times
because there was so much
i loved about it!!

DewyKnickers said...

I never thought of the infinite number of permutations in a relationship. Great poem, I love all the cool terms. :)

Rose

Carolee said...

i love all the slight references to the potentially imperceptible yet significant changes that may impact this equation!

twilightspider said...

You've taken this idea and realized it so well - your selections of moments and of the possible tiny changes are just wonderful.

I find myself getting ridiculously sentimental this week. What are you guys doing to me?

Poet with a Day Job said...

Excellent poem. Very smooth and rhythmic. I laughed out loud at yoru blog title though. Good one.

Jessica said...

I love poetry thursdays -- they are getting to be my favorite day of the week. I just wish I had more time during the day to respond to the comments. Stupid job!

i checked out gkgirl's version of infinity, which is really fun and uses the idea of equate in an interesting way.

Like twilight spider, I've noticed the amount of math=love poems that we have this week. Interesting, to say the least.

thanks to everyone who stopped by and commented. I'll try to respond more personally next time...:)

L. monique said...

Thanks for stopping by my site. And I'm glad you did. I am really drawn to your poem. The flashes you give, the connections you draw, and the bit of biology you throw in for good measure. You did a wonderful job with this weeks exercise.

ecm said...

I really, really liked this poem. I too am finding some poet connections to mathematics.

jillypoet said...

Me, too! I really like this poem. How you manage to effortlessly weave in math words with poetic thought...amazing. It IS a love poem. I have to go back and read it. And "sinew," isn't that such a Margaret Atwood word?! I love her, too.

Sticking it in your eyes said...

I like this approach very much. Very nice flow and pace. Sad, hopeful, full of life things.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Lovely, beautifully written poem.

dogfaceboy said...

The opposite of mine. And far more hopeful for it.

Jessica said...

Other comments I forgot to write last night, because I was too busy reading everyone else's math poems

twilightspider wrote a really awesome poem, but blogger isn't accepting comments on that site, so you should go and read it.

jillypoet-- I love Margaret Atwood, she is one of my all time favorite writers ever. I teach her short story "Happy Endings" in my lit class.

thanks again to everyone who commented and stopped by!

Liza Lee Miller said...

Very cool poem. I could totally relate!