Rachel Hadas

New Math
December 17, 2016 Hadas Rachel

New Math


Out of the place I knew,
I feel into another
world in which I merged with my beloved,

into a world where one and one make two
but two so closely intertwined
they seem more like a single entity –

not he and I, not you and me, but we.
And so we changed, and so we still are growing:
one to two but also two to three.

I’m no mathematician.
But can I make you see
the process?  Portal opens into portal,

vista into vista, limitless,
infinitely generous addition.
The full cup keeps on filling.

There’s no subtraction.
There is only giving.
One is drawn to one so that makes two;

two intertwine so that makes one again.
But also something new
grows from me and you –

startling emergence, a fresh entity.
One, then two, then one again, then three,
a brand-new being born to you and me.

Rachel Hadas is the author of many books of poetry, essays, and translations, mostly recently poetry collection “Ghost Guest” (2023) and her translation of  Book 16 of Nonnus’s “Tales of Dionysus”, a rollicking epic from the diaspora of late antiquity (2022).  She recently retired from Rutgers University-Newark, where for many years she was Board of Governors Professor of English.