Monday 13 June 2016

A poem by Eva Ström - 'Upptäcker vi matematiken?'

do we discover mathematics?

Do we discover mathematics
or do we invent it?
Do the circles discover us, does the golden section surprise us,
π, the small limits and unimaginable infinity,
the great series of numbers, the sine curves, the neat unified circle
the equations of the fourth degree

language invents us
we fight against this discovery, entwined in its meanings
as others, always others have created
les verbes irréguliers
I verbi italiani coniugati senza abbreviature
these shameless verbs that can never prevent
a sentence from setting itself in motion
that always gets the most rusty machinery going too,
that gets the nouns to rub ungreased up against each other
squeaking, but in motion nonetheless

Via algebra the existence of God is proven at the court of Catherine the Great
though only for those ignorant of mathematics
Languages grow like gardens in May, full of brushwood and weeds
Here a beech towers with kinglike crown
The rape explodes with its sweet scent and its stinging yellow
a yellow eye that observes us
that invents us

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