Can a Mathematician See Red?


Consider the sphere —

a hollow rounded surface

whose outside points

are the very same points

insiders see.


If red paint spills

all over the outside,

is the inside red?


The mathematician says, No,

the layer of paint

forms a new sphere

that is outside the outside

and not a bit inside.


A mathematician

takes safe pleasure

in surface mysteries.


A poet

sees red





This poem and others of JoAnne Growney’s “mathematical” poems are available in My Dance is Mathematics, published in 2006 by Paper Kite Press.