*Each one I meet I ask, "Do you*

find mathematics beautiful

or useful? All answer, "Useful.

I use math every day." My eyes

reveal that I want proof, and each

goes on to tell that she subtracts

to keep her checkbook, and

sometimes multiplies to find

the size of carpet for the dining room.
If I, instead, would say, "Do you

find beauty or utility

in poetry?" would each person say,

"It's useful. I use it every day."

For proof would she go on to tell

that rhymes help her remember

the number of days each month--

like "Thirty hath September"--

and spellings of words with "i" and "e."

Someday utilitarians

will join with me to see

beauty in mathematics--

and in poetry.

Source: *MAA Focus*, February 2008, p. 21