April is Poetry Month, and while poetry is made of words, numbers rule their rhyming. Think about Dr. Seuss books, where two lines in a row rhyme: “Knox in box / Fox in socks.” Since the first 2 lines rhyme, then the 3rd and 4th rhyme, we call that an a-a-b-b pattern. But sometimes not all the lines rhyme: “I do not like them, / Sam-I-am. / I do not like / green eggs and ham.” The 3rd line ends in a different sound from the 1st line, so that pattern is a-b-c-b.
It’s hard work, so we were amazed by New Orleans “sidewalk poet” Antoine: Tell him your favorite thing, and he’ll write a poem about it — then you decide how much to pay him for it. We of course asked for a poem about math, which you can find below!
Wee ones: If you say “big wig pig,” how many rhyming words do you have?
Little kids: Try to think of 4 words that rhyme with your first name. Then say the whole set 5 times fast! Bonus: If Antoine writes a $10 poem for your name, and you have $2, how many more dollars do you need to pay him?
Big kids: If Antoine thinks up 7 3-letter rhyming words, how many letters does he have to type in total? Bonus: Poems called “sonnets” have 14 lines, while “haikus” have just 3. On which day does Antoine type more lines, a 10-sonnet day or a 20-haiku day?
Wee ones: 3 rhyming words.
Little kids: Different for everyone…see if you can rhyme with your name! Bonus: $8 more.
Big kids: 21 letters. Bonus: The sonnet day is more line-heavy: 140 lines v. 60 lines.
And here is Antoine’s poem – thank you Antoine for the inspiration!
it’s a system
it’s a system of an infinite
number of systems
it’s the imagination
turning an equation into
a sculpted crystal
the mind circles
it’s the art
of creating sideways
and getting stuck into
and try again
till it equals