Poetry and Math and Friendship

I have writer friends and non-writer friends. No surprise there. Life would be a bit dull if all of my friends were exactly like me. Some (many) of my friends are not big poetry fans. When people tell me they don’t like poetry, they usually rush to add, “But I like yours.” It makes me laugh. I’m always happy when someone tells me they like my poetry, but it’s certainly not a requirement to be friends with me. I also hear people tell me that while they like some poetry they could never write it. Meh. I don’t agree. I think anyone can write.

Math, however, is another story. Math is hard. Math gives me agita. So when I’m asked to combine math and poetry, I sweat a bit. Yet, I did write this one to Robert Brewer’s April 11 PAD prompt: Write a prime number poem

Oh god not another math poem!

I never worry or balk at my age.
More birthdays. More cake.
But I think I will stop at 59.
Instead of years
I will Level Up.
This way every trip around the sun
will be a victory lap
towards Mastery of my life.

Speaking of Math and Poetry, I have two very dear friends who are “Math People.” One of them, Bartholomew Barker, is the rare Math Person who also writes poetry after working his day job as a programmer. (Click his name to read some of his work.) My other Math Friend, Tess Fisher, just so happens to be an extraordinarily gifted sewist. She can sew anything from underwear to formal wear and anything in between. She sews for people of all sizes and shapes and even pets. She also makes wonderful costumes and turned herself in to Fawkes from the Harry Potter series last fall. I’m amazed by her talent. She is also one of my “poetry is not for me” friends. But as it turns out, despite her claims, she can indeed write a poem. With her permission:

If I Had a Pen, by Tess Fisher

If I had a pen,
Would I write a poem?

Or would I sketch a design,
Do some math,
Or twirl it like a baton?

If I had a pen…
I would,
Anything…but write a poem.

Can’t get enough poetry? Need something to do next Monday, April 26, 2021? Join me and 9 other poets who will be reading some poems and discussing their work at the annual Poetry on Your Plate events sponsored by the town of Carrboro, Parks & Recreation. It’s normally held in person but since Covid is still around, it’s virtual. Anyone can attend. It goes from 6pm to 8pm EDT. on Zoom.

https://townofcarrboro.zoom.us/j/99905369763?pwd=em5ab3BGdXhmdEJjcUhSMGxJUFBqZz09
Meeting ID: 999 0536 9763
Passcode: 918850

9 thoughts on “Poetry and Math and Friendship

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