PF: Math Poems

This month Catherine Flynn challenged us to write any sort of mathematical poem. It was a nice open prompt with lots of options, and Catherine included some links to inspire us. I decided pretty quickly that I wanted to write a Fib poem. I had the sense, whether accurate it or not, that it should be written about something natural. I tossed around a few ideas until, serendipitously, a blizzard arrived.


feathered down
then two    threefour and
soon the sky was dizzy with snow

©Molly Hogan

After playing around with that, I started thinking about the number, zero. Back when I taught first grade, I used to write with my first graders in response to a mentor text called “Zero is…” I always loved their responses and how the text got us thinking about zero in different ways. It reminded me that there’s more to zero than meets the eye.

In Tennis, Zero Is Love

is an absence,
a placeholder
meaning nothing is there.
An even number, 
it’s the fulcrum
on the number line
between positives
and negatives.
Zero, added,

Still, Zero is nuanced.
Holding its place,
it can move numbers
toward infinity
or with a single operation
fully erase them.
It’s open
to interpretation:
With zero,
context is everything.

When you walk beside me,
your hand in mine,
Zero is my loneliness.

©Molly Hogan, draft

If you’re interested in reading what the other Inklings have done with this challenge, check out their posts:

Linda Mitchell
Margaret Simon
Catherine Flynn
Heidi Mordhorst
MaryLee Hahn

This week’s Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted by Elisabeth Norton at her blog, Unexpected Intersections.