Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Song for the Troubled Mathematician Who Confronted Remote Infinities

Cantor was depressive, too. Paranoid,
he believed he heard God’s voice reciting
theorems—divine mathematical whispers.
Here, birds eat, drink, and mate on the wing. Such
aerial existence has a certain
disadvantage: come what may, we all end up
on the ground. But the air has substance.
The spaces between stars are filled with dust
and gas. Large African antelope can survive
indefinitely without drinking. Saw off layers of
antlers to find the atheism of dry things. Still,
—and this explains a few things—
stars coalesce from dust and gas; God’s word
is flexible. Cantor had proof. 

[1] Georg Cantor (1845-1918), whose work implied “an infinity of infinities.”

--First published in Fourth River, Autumn 2011

1 comment:

honeysutra said...

Just lovely Jessica!