An Equation for My Children

By Wilmer Mills 1969–2011 Wilmer Mills
It may be esoteric and perverse
That I consult Pythagoras to hear
A music tuning in the universe.
My interest in his math of star and sphere
Has triggered theorems too far-fetched to solve.
They don't add up. But if I rack and toil
More in ether than a mortal coil,
It is to comprehend how you revolve,
By formulas of orbit, ellipse, and ring.

Dear son and daughter, if I seem to range
It is to chart the numbers spiraling
Between my life and yours until the strange
And seamless beauty of equations click
Solutions for the heart's arithmetic.

Source: Poetry (June 2003).

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This poem originally appeared in the June 2003 issue of Poetry magazine

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June 2003
 Wilmer  Mills

Biography

The son of agricultural missionaries, poet Wilmer Mills grew up in Brazil and Louisiana. Mills earned both a BA and MA in theology from the University of the South, and worked at a variety of jobs during his life including carpenter, sawmill operator, baker, farmer, and white water raft guide. He also served as the Kenan Visiting Writer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
 
Acclaimed as a careful practitioner of . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Arts & Sciences, Sciences

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

Poetic Terms Sonnet

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