*Following on from yesterday’s poem on numbers, here is that well-known poem by Carl Sandburg on ‘ARITHMETIC’ . . .*

## Arithmetic – Poem by Carl Sandburg

**Arithmetic is where numbers fly like pigeons in and out of your**

** head.**

** Arithmetic tells you how many you lose or win if you know how**

** many you had before you lost or won.**

** Arithmetic is seven eleven all good children go to heaven — or five**

** six bundle of sticks.**

** Arithmetic is numbers you squeeze from your head to your hand**

** to your pencil to your paper till you get the answer.**

** Arithmetic is where the answer is right and everything is nice and**

** you can look out of the window and see the blue sky — or the**

** answer is wrong and you have to start all over and try again**

** and see how it comes out this time.**

** If you take a number and double it and double it again and then**

** double it a few more times, the number gets bigger and bigger**

** and goes higher and higher and only arithmetic can tell you**

** what the number is when you decide to quit doubling.**

** Arithmetic is where you have to multiply — and you carry the**

** multiplication table in your head and hope you won’t lose it.**

** If you have two animal crackers, one good and one bad, and you**

** eat one and a striped zebra with streaks all over him eats the**

** other, how many animal crackers will you have if somebody**

** offers you five six seven and you say No no no and you say**

** Nay nay nay and you say Nix nix nix?**

** If you ask your mother for one fried egg for breakfast and she**

** gives you two fried eggs and you eat both of them, who is**

** better in arithmetic, you or your mother? **

*More of Carl Sandburg’s poems can be found*

* on the Poem Hunter website at: Carl Sandburg*

Another poet I was introduced to as a child–I love being reminded of him. Thanks, Roland! My father once met Carl Sandburg and his wife at an airport somewhere in the U.S. He remarked at how kindly he treated his wife 🙂

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Thanks for your appreciative comment, Laura.

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More conundrums and quandries around the pleasures of arithmetic Roland. I have just started reading Carl Sandburgs work. Thank you for posting this enjoyable poem.

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Thanks, Davy.

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I always hated arithmetic: this poem makes me realize why! Thank you.

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Many thanks for commenting, Roger.

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Nice share. Carl Sandburg was quite the poem.

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Thank you for commenting, Eugenia.

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