poet Carl Sandburg

Carl Sandburg

#45 on top 500 poets

Arithmetic

Arithmetic is where numbers fly like pigeons in and out of your
    head.
Arithmet ic tell you how many you lose or win if you know how
    many you had before you lost or won.
Arithmetic is seven eleven all good children go to heaven -- or five
    six bundle of sticks.
Arithmetic is numbers you squeeze from your head to your hand
    to your pencil to your paper till you get the answer.
Arithmetic is where the answer is right and everything is nice and
    you can look out of the window and see the blue sky -- or the
    answer is wrong and you have to start all over and try again
    and see how it comes out this time.
If you take a number and double it and double it again and then
    double it a few more times, the number gets bigger and bigger
    and goes higher and higher and only arithmetic can tell you
    what the number is when you decide to quit doubling.
Arithmetic is where you have to multiply -- and you carry the
    multiplication table in your head and hope you won't lose it.
If you have two animal crackers, one good and one bad, and you
    eat one and a striped zebra with streaks all over him eats the
    other, how many animal crackers will you have if somebody
    offers you five six seven and you say No no no and you say
    Nay nay nay and you say Nix nix nix?
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?

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

Add this poem to MyPoemList

Rating Card

Arithmetic # 202 poem on top 500 Poems
3,0 out of 5
201 total ratings
rate this poem

Comments about Arithmetic by Carl Sandburg

  • Gage Stewart (3/8/2020 8:21:00 PM)

    This poem is awesome, using it for my 5th grade speech meet. Way to go Sandburg, Carl

    Report Reply
    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Mhshshs (2/18/2020 2:55:00 PM)

    Mjsiaisksjsjjsjsjsjsjsjsjsjse

    Report Reply
    0 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Bigboi the III (2/18/2020 2:53:00 PM)

    Listen to me I’m the biggest of all bois

    Report Reply
    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Billy Charles Frank McFarllin (2/18/2020 2:52:00 PM)

    This poem is bad. I don’t like it. 🤮

    Report Reply
    0 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Billy Charles Frank McFarlin (2/18/2020 2:50:00 PM)

    Totally agreee. This peom is garbage dooky trash

    Report Reply
    0 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Patricc (2/18/2020 9:14:00 AM)

    I hate it 🤔🤗😭😤😡🥶🤥🤫🤭🤮👍🤯😳🥺😎

    Report Reply
    Charles Billy Frank McFarllin(2/18/2020 2:54:00 PM)

    Charles McFarllin says no you

    Billy Charles Frank McFarlin(2/18/2020 2:49:00 PM)

    Totally agreee dog

    1 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Shaun CronickShaun Cronick (2/2/2020 7:43:00 AM)

    Car, l maybe the mother was deaf and what did the eggs taste like?
    Were they sunny-side up or down, greasy and cold, runny or hard?
    A good poem you can count on. Sleep well Carl.

    Report Reply
    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Anonymous (12/31/2018 2:50:00 PM)

    I’m in 5th grade and I picked this poem to memorize. It’s a little hard to memorize, but it’s so witty and clever.

    Report Reply
    3 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • bebe r (3/28/2018 9:29:00 PM)

    lllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll

    Already Reported Reply
    2 person liked.
    9 person did not like.
  • bebe r (3/28/2018 9:28:00 PM)

    llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll

    Already Reported Reply
    2 person liked.
    8 person did not like.
  • Allen Basom (3/14/2018 12:06:00 PM)

    I'm so happy I found this poem. My grandmother had typed a copy for me when I was in grade school, but I lost it. I've spend years and years racking my brain trying to remember just a little bit of the poem to search for it and now I've finally found it!

    Report Reply
    Urukalo(2/18/2019 7:06:00 AM)

    That's so sweet and awesome! Good 4 U!

    10 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Rajnish MangaRajnish Manga (11/14/2016 12:15:00 PM)

    Lovely poem. Enjoyed it thoroughly, though I have always been scared of the subject in school. Thanks for sharing.

    Report Reply
    12 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
  • Ratnakar Mandlik (11/14/2016 10:59:00 AM)

    A beautifully envisioned humorous elaboration of the sweep of an otherwise boring yet most essential subject. Thanks for sharing.

    Report Reply
    11 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
  • M Asim NehalM Asim Nehal (11/14/2016 6:28:00 AM)

    A humorous poem on arithmetics, really enjoyable.10

    Report Reply
    12 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • Edward Kofi LouisEdward Kofi Louis (11/14/2016 4:35:00 AM)

    Out of your head! ! With the muse of calculation. Thanks for sharing this poem with us.

    Report Reply
    9 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
  • Indira RenganathanIndira Renganathan (11/14/2016 1:18:00 AM)

    Funny and interesting calculation of arithmetic....good poem indeed- 10

    Report Reply
    11 person liked.
    6 person did not like.
  • Bernard F. AsuncionBernard F. Asuncion (11/14/2016 1:15:00 AM)

    Very nice poem! ! ! ! ! .......
    Thanks for sharing.........................

    Report Reply
    10 person liked.
    6 person did not like.
  • Paul AmrodPaul Amrod (12/5/2015 4:17:00 AM)

    Hi Marj, This is especially an answer to the wish of Marj. This poem is filled with American anachronisms. Various events which are recognized as happenings or feelings someone has or experiences. I am not a literary buff however I feel the member Daniel Brick would be better to ask. He is highly versed and has a wonderful manner of expressing his explanations and is simply better qualified than myself. Greetings, Paul

    Report Reply
    10 person liked.
    9 person did not like.
  • Marj Ken (12/4/2015 9:22:00 PM)

    Someone please help me with the line by line explanation of this poem

    Report Reply
    9 person liked.
    9 person did not like.
  • Kinyua KaranjaKinyua Karanja (9/30/2015 3:22:00 AM)

    Awesome poem, I always hated anything to do with arithmetic but i have seen them in different light.

    Report Reply
    16 person liked.
    5 person did not like.



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: animal, mother, children, lost, heaven, hope, sky, child