June 25, 2015

Poetry about statistics

On Twitter, Evelyn Lamb pointed me to the poem “A contribution to Statistics”, by Wisława Szymborska (who won the 1996 Nobel Prize for Literature). It begins

Out of every hundred people

those who always know better:
— fifty-two,

doubting every step
   — nearly all the rest,

glad to lend a hand
if it doesn’t take too long:
— as high as forty-nine,

Read all of it here

The same blog, “Poetry with Mathematics”, has some other statistically themed poems:

The last was written in honour of Florence Nightingale, who was the first female member of the Royal Statistical Society, and also an honorary member of the American Statistical Association.


Thomas Lumley (@tslumley) is Professor of Biostatistics at the University of Auckland. His research interests include semiparametric models, survey sampling, statistical computing, foundations of statistics, and whatever methodological problems his medical collaborators come up with. He also blogs at Biased and Inefficient See all posts by Thomas Lumley »