Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2011

MATHEMATICS

by TIM SANSOM

Can I ever say anything outside of the bed
Of all that which has already been said ?
Can I philosophise on what I’ve observed
In such a way that is fresh or unheard ?

If the permutations are finite and fixed
If my essence is built of the very same bricks
Of all those before me and all those to come
Am I nothing surpassing an organic sum?

The infant believes she is perfectly free
And that she alone shapes what she may come to be
Then as youths we resist and revolt and debate
Saying ‘Watch out for all those who indoctrinate!

By the time we’re mature we see far less allure
Of fussing about all the rules we endure
Disillusioned by upstarts who mellow to play
In the game from which once they had warned us away

So the puppeteer’s puppeteers dance to the tune
Of a child’s perceived time frame of a dull afternoon
And I’ll never say anything beyond the bed
Of all that which has already been said.

Added: 16.12.2010

Judges' comments on this poem

13.05.2011

I like the theme, very thoughtful, but perhaps a bit too heavy on the scanning.

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