Poetical Mathematicals by J. Patrick Lewis
{A Bumbershoot Special Feature}

Robert Frost’s Boxer Shorts

Whose shorts are these? I wish I knew
Who sent them to me, all brand new
Five dollars, ninety cents a pair.
They’re not my size. I’m forty-two.

But fourteen pairs? Now who could wear
That many without ten to spare?
If nine are cotton (cotton blend)
And five are silk, then let’s compare:

On each set, how much did he spend?
Arithmetic is just the friend
To multiply, divide or add.
And what’s the total in the end?

These underwear are not half bad
With lions, tigers—stripes and plaid . . .
My jockey shorts are looking sad.
My jockey shorts are looking sad.