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A "Number" of Poems


April is National Poetry Month, intended to celebrate poetry of all types, while hopefully increasing one's awareness and appreciation of poetry. Note however, that if you live in Great Britain, it is celebrated in October!

Thus, in line with this celebration, enjoy the following poems written about numbers...Authors given when known...

'Tis a favorite project of mine
A new value of pi to assign.
I would fix it at 3
For it's simpler, you see,
Than 3 point 1 4 1 5 9.
(By: Harvey L. Carter)

I used to think math was no fun,
'Cause I couldn't see how it was done.
Now Euler's my hero,
For I now see why 0
Equals e to the i pi plus 1.

There once was a number pi
Very special like e and phi
Circumference to d
Is the ratio for me
And it's not a multiple of i
(By: Liz Landau)

There once was a number named e
Who took way too much LSD.
She thought she was great.
But that fact we must debate;
We know she wasn't greater than 3.
(By: Eve Andersson)

e raised to the pi times i,
And plus 1 leaves you nought but a sigh.
This fact amazed Euler
That genius toiler,
And still gives us pause, bye the bye.

One over point one-oh-two-three,
When raised to the second degree,
Divided by seven
Then minus eleven
Is approximately equal to e.
(By: A.F. Cooper)

A graduate student from Trinity
Computed the cube of infinity;
But it gave him the fidgets
To write down all those digits,
So he dropped math and took up divinity.

If (1 + x) (real close to 1)
Is raised to the power of 1
Over x, you will find
Here's the value defined:
2.718281...

There was an old man who said, "Do
Tell me how I should add two and two.
I think more and more
That it makes about four --
But I fear that is almost too few."

The Professor said, "Now I'll tell you
A fact known to only a few
Men and women alive.
Two plus two equals five!
For large enough values of two."
(By: Donald E. Simanek)

The square root of minus 2 pi
On th'square root of inverse sine phi;
All that need be done
Is let phi equal one:
It's twice exp of i pi on i.
(By: Andrew Adams)

'Cause phi-squared less phi, minus 1,
Is exactly equal to none,
The golden mean phi,
Which so pleases the eye,
Is half of root 5 add on one.
(By: M.M. Bishop)

So, now that you are in the poetical spirit, why not write a poem yourself about a mathematical idea? And, if you send it to me, I will try to share it....

Source: Kayla Jacobs blog Kayla's Purlieu, a MIT math/physics student