The Joys of Mathematics
At fifty I will begin my count towards the infinite numbers.
At negative ninety nine I will start my walk towards
the infinitessimally small.
At one over twenty seven I will inspect the first bridgeworks.
At twenty two over seven I will write a message in a bottle, entrust it to
a sea turtle, slip under a wave and sleep.
At eighty seven sparrows will land on the windowsill, pecking a hole
that leads inside my arm.
At 127 I will begin to arrange the children’s pillows, carefully filling
each one with warm handfuls of snow.
At ten to the negative six our friends from the White House will arrive,
handing out glass beads and broken shells filled with recently
At the inverse square of sixteen the sky will curve over blue lakes, songbirds
settle at dusk, a small train rattle off towards a village that leans
against a single church spire.
At one over negative twenty two I will start to dream in Sanskrit, creating a
swarm of brown ants to bring back a baby’s rattle from the
edge of a mud slide.
At ten to negative two over three I will open my heart, letting go of all vanities,
right down to the wilted bones.
At the third transfinite number I will give up easy answers.
At e to the i pi the earth will bristle with skulls and weapons, dolphins will
proclaim the first inter-stellar arms bazaar in Antarctica, the
new born will drink only lead, the elderly will wander the moon
in the quest for warmth.
At one I will open my eyes.
At zero I will put the key back under the mat.
Peter Boyle's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (The Joys of Mathematics by Peter Boyle )
- Don't Let It Be, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- LOVE IS A DELICATE THING, Marcus McKinley
- Beaming Bolts, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- It's only human, Priscilla Stalker
- October...come she will., Roxanne Dubarry
- Fly Away, Gerry Legister
- Good For Nothing (Fun Poem 161), David Harris
- I Went, Vera Sidhwa
- Se(lection), Tony Adah
- Octopus, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
Poem of the Day
- 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- A Poison Tree, William Blake
- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
- Heather Burns
(August 19, 1902 – May 19, 1971)