Words and Numbers: Poem number 1
June 6, 2022
I like words.
I don’t like numbers.
I trust words.
I don’t trust numbers.
Words know and humbly admit they are ambiguous.
That’s why God created dictionaries.
Numbers think they are so precise and that words go on and on…
But pi never ends, does it — on and on and on past infinity and more!
Pythagoras taught the world was mathematical.
But it’s poets, prose masters and musicians who give it meaning.
Numbers think they’re God, running everything with their formulas.
Who ever heard of God needing constants and fudge factors to compensate when things don’t turn out too well?
There are no pretenses with words.
Words know they are pretentious, that’s their beauty.
Numbers are arrogant and haughty.
Really, they’re imaginary but pretend they’re real.
Numbers are so jealous they can’t stay away from words.
I remember “word problems” in elementary school, don’t you?
Words can readily avoid numbers,
Until they’re seduced by demands for word counts by editors and publishers.
That’s not the fault of words.
Numbers just want to horn in where they don’t belong — ask the authors.
In truth, words can give me a headache at times.
Russell and I study Alfred North Whitehead to prove it.
But numbers give me a migraine
That no medicine except avoidance can cure.
My best calculation ever was avoiding college calculus.
Even though I was pre-med, I found a work-around.
I could do it then, though not so sure I could do it now.
Twenty-first century medicine has gradually succumbed.
But I like to talk and write.
I count as little as possible.
Numbers are useful in their place —
Far, far away.
Isaac Newton invented calculus.
Wasn’t that AFTER the apple hit him on the head?
This all came to me in a dreamy twilight state this morning.
I wonder what poem number 2 will be?