Monday, August 24, 2009

Barbara Cogswell


At first perusal, nine's just next to number ten
but on the second, its imbued with mathematical properties
no other number can display; added digits of each
of its multiples equals nine, at least that's true
for one through ten, given the decimal system and
a rational number line, but what John Lennon meant
when he repeated "number nine" no one has said.
He might have explained, had he the cat's nine
instead of the one loneliest number he ever did.


  1. Enjoyed this, especially how "first perusal" and "one loneliest" act like bookends -- especially as, the more I think about it, there's a nice symmetry between the first look mentioned in the opening line and the finality of death implicit in the closing line.

  2. A rather dry observation of the mathematics of "9", but I like the tie-in with John Lennon as well as the last line, even though Harry Nilsson wrote "One(is the Loneliest Number)".

  3. Lindypin wrote to me this morning to say she also votes for this poem as her favorite.