``some equations and theorems appear to have a very austere and genuine poetry.''
My five-year-old daughter began
to count while playing alone
with her Tinkertoys: ``Infinity-
and-one, infinity-and-two, infinity-and-
three....'' I thought, my brilliant child
taking after her old uncle
math genius, another candidate
for numbers as the most
They can speak equations
at the dinner table, have that in common,
argue formulas and theorems,
while the rest of us tell jokes
in blundering words, monolingual,
as background kin should be, trying
to be good, nevertheless. Still messy,
we do our best above the soiled
table cloth that marks
the ending of a noisy feast.
But can infinity-and-one really be?
It is, by definition, impossible,
``and'' meaning ``plus,''
where no more room exists.
Shall we rule out ``and'' then,
correct the child
in the middle of her litany, concerning -
Or am I merely speaking English?