Tag Archives: poetry

The margin is insufficient

The margin is insufficient

I’ve long assumed that
Fermat had nothing –
no “truly marvelous demonstration”
for which the margin was too narrow.

But suppose he did.

When all you have is the margin,
there’s never sufficient space.
The margin is insufficient to express
ideas that the universe cannot contain.

We spend so much time
living in the margin
frantically jotting notes to each other,
unable or
unwilling to take the time
to fully express the
truly marvelous demonstration
on the page.

The margin is insufficient
for what I want to tell you.
I need the whole page, the whole book,
a library.
And years in which to sit undisturbed
and read to you.

He wishes for the cloths of heaven

He wishes for the cloths of heaven

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly, because you tread on my dreams.

— William Butler Yeats


I encountered this delightful poem last night, by G. K. Chesterton. It nicely sums up my wonder at the huge gift that it is to simply be alive:


Here dies another day
During which I have had eyes, ears, hands
And the great world round me;
And with tomorrow begins another.
Why am I allowed two?