From time to time I have been inspired to write poetry (or something vaguely like it) about mathematics. I have no idea why. Most of it is supposed to be funny, but there is one serious one. See if you can tell which is which.
A subject with a lot of plusses, has to
do with abacusses:
Calculating e and π upon the beads of abaci.
The choices may be stated thus: to abaci or abacus.
Math Anxiety Treatment
A Lambda Slaughter (A Lambda's Laughter)
Mary had a little lamb-da, curled and
curved for show.
And every where that lambda went, the math came out just so.
It followed her to calculus with
which show the way to optimize as in Lagrange's school.
In matrix class it proved itself to be
a trusty pal, whose
assistance could be counted on for writing eigenvalues.
So keep an eye on Mary's friend - its
uses transcend measure.
Beyond a doubt her lambda is a character to treasure.
To study anything mathematical.
I want to go on a sabbatical.
by bonds unfelt and bars unseen.
But not so I, I soar on wings
of thought. And thinking, dream these things:
two worlds made one yet ever two
apart; a labrynth traced clear through
from end to end; a tone more pure
than Circe's voice; a keep secure
from even time's travail; a bright-
ness that confers the pain of sight
so keen it pierces to the heart.
To this and more am I conveyed.
Come, break those chains. Take up the blade
by Euclid forged, and polished since
by ev'ry soul who saw it's glint
in reason's fire, and passed from hand
to hand down all the age of man
until at last here now we two.
Hold out your hand. I give it you.
Your fetters can't withstand its aim,
For Mathematics is its name.
Oh, thou three corner array, noblest of matrices:
reflected in multiple zeros
exclaiming your secrets in proud display.
Where the common matrix guards its determinant
never to be revealed,
unending and errorless calculation,
a token computation,
yea, a sash,
The chaotic matrix
a confused maze of conflicting directions.
it hides this kernel from our sight,
and under cover of night.
But you, three sided paragon,
declaim your true intentions;
your innermost dimensions.
And there is no mistake about the values that you hold.
With characteristic candor that is striking to behold,
and without undue modesty, your honesty is tangible:
your values worn for all to see with pride on your diagonal.
And you and all your fellows faithful ever do remain
you multiply together and your offspring are the same,
and in all your combinations, too, your virtues are unchanged.
Indeed, you are a model for the race of matrix kind,
In artful grace,
In guileless art,
In graceful form,
If that is not enough, you can click here for two more of my poems of a non-mathematical character.