Logic and the Number Seven

The poem we read during Friday’s class was called “Logic” by Percival Everett. In my opinion, when I think about what logic means, I believe that logic is a way of thinking and reasoning. The Cambridge Dictionary states that the definition of logic is “a formal, scientific method of examining or thinking about ideas”. As we discussed in our groups, we claim that out of all the poems in Everett’s, re: f (gesture), “Logic” is the one that can be talked about new critically. There aren’t really any terms and names that confuse me, as compared to “Zulus” and “Body”. I believe that in order to understand this poem, you have to use logic itself and really think about what it being written. Logic focuses on your own beliefs to think about ideas. If we take our ideas from this last poem and use this method of thinking, we may gain a better understanding of the poem itself.

We were in these small groups practically the whole class trying to figure out what Everett is saying in this poem, trying to connect the different parts somehow. The part that stuck out to us most was the last section of the poem. It reads; “Seven men can be obliterated, burned or hanged or drowned in a lake and forgotten, Men gone, but not seven. Seven men lost, but not seven. Seven is, will be. All men will die but not seven” (Everett 70). Seven is repeated over and over again and it was really driving Amanda crazy. She continued to ask what it meant. What was the point of seven? Our main summary of this last poem about seven was that people can be destroyed and killed because we are tangible. Seven is intangible. You can’t touch it. It’s something that is always there without your knowing. You can go shopping and see that something is seven dollars or you can look at the candy section and say that there’s seven bags of skittles left. Seven cannot be destroyed or forgotten about. It’s a number.

As I sit here and think about all of these ideas that we put together as a group, what really came to my attention was how obsessed we all were with the number seven, all because of a short poem. 37 words. The poem about seven was 37 words and all of a sudden we couldn’t get it out of our brains. There’s that number 7 again. I remember looking at Amanda and saying that now, because of this poem and discussion, every time I saw something with the number seven in it, I would think back to this class. It’s crazy to me how that works. When you talk about one concept so much that it’s glued in your brain and you can’t get it out. As our discussion went on, we pointed out to each other every time we came across something with seven in it. When this happened, we’d laugh briefly and then continue to use our logic to unwrap the poem. 

So what really was the point of this whole thing? Who cares about the number seven? By using logic, humans can form new arguments and draw conclusions based on what they read. It’s a specific way of thinking. I thought logically about this poem to try and unpack it. I thought with my group in different steps to come to a conclusion about this poem. The biggest point I made, however, was simply that seven is now fixed in my brain and every time I see something with the number seven in it, I will think back to this English 203 class my first semester of my freshman year. I went into this class period ready to break down another poem and I left the class period with the number seven lingering in my mind.

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