DU REVE, DE LA MATHEMATIQUE, ET DE LA MORT
On dreams, on mathematics, and on death.
Card-catalogues turn up such heady stuff
Sometimes as this, this rapture from the depths
Which isn't where it should be on the shelf.
For a moment, remembering Borges' poor young clerk,
I idly consider writing it myself,
Setting a record for the shortest work
The world had ever seen on three such themes
Of such import as death and math and dreams.
I think of asking that a search be made,
But give it up, my French is not so great
And right now I've got plenty on my plate
Without this title turned up by pure chance
As if desinged to bait my ignorance.
And yet -- ? But I shall let this once-glimpsed fish
Swim through the deep of thought beyond my wish,
And resign myself to knowing nothing more
Du reve, de la mathematique, et de la mort.
Howard Nemerov (1920-1991)