Sarah Teasdale

I Am Not Yours

I am not yours, not lost in you,
Not lost, although I long to be
Lost as a candle lit at noon,
Lost as a snowflake in the sea.

You love me, and I find you still
A spirit beautiful and bright,
Yet I am I, who long to be
Lost as a light is lost in light.

Oh plunge me deep in love — put out
My senses, leave me deaf and blind,
Swept by the tempest of your love,
A taper in a rushing wind.

on David Hilbert

Hilbert […] was perhaps the most absent-minded man who ever lived. He was a great friend of the physicist James Franck. One day when Hilbert was walking in the street he met James Franck and he said, “James, is your wife as mean as mine?” Well, Franck was taken aback by this statement and didn’t know quite what to say, and he said, “Well, what has your wife done?” And Hilbert said, “It was only this morning that I discovered quite by accident that my wife does not give me an egg for breakfast. Heaven knows how long this has been going on.”

Simon Armitage

The Catch

the long smouldering
afternoon. It is

this moment
when the ball scoots
of the edge

of the bat; upwards,
backwards, falling

beyond him
yet he reaches
and picks it

of its loop

an apple
from a branch,
the first of the season.

Becky Dennison Sakellariou

Math Is Beautiful and So Are You

If n is an even number
then I’ll kiss you goodnight right here,
but if the modulus k is the unique solution,
I’ll take you in my arms for the long night.

When the properties are constrained as well as incomplete,
I’ll be getting off the train at this stop.
However, if there is some positive constant,
then I’ll stay on board for a while longer.

When it says that the supremum deviates from the least zero,
my heart closes off.
But if all moments are infinite and you can hear me,
I will open out for you.

This sequence satisfies the hypothesis of uniformity,
and because we know that approximation is possible
and that inequality is an embedding factor,
come, let’s try once more.

John Keats

On first looking into Chapman’s Homer

Much have I travell’d in the realms of gold,
And many goodly states and kingdoms seen;
Round many western islands have I been
Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold.
Oft of one wide expanse had I been told
That deep-brow’d Homer ruled as his demesne;
Yet did I never breathe its pure serene
Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold:
Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
When a new planet swims into his ken;
Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes
He star’d at the Pacific – and all his men
Look’d at each other with a wild surmise-
Silent, upon a peak in Darien.

Wendy Cope

I Worry

I worry about you –
So long since we spoke.
Love, are you downhearted,
Dispirited, broke?

I worry about you.
I can’t sleep at night.
Are you sad? Are you lonely?
Or are you all right?

They say that men suffer,
As badly, as long.
I worry, I worry,
In case they are wrong.