# A Mathematical Scribble

1. Apr 14, 2005

### motai

I recently wrote a poem in my journal, but I think everyone here will like it. I'll go ahead and place here as well.

I got frustrated when working with some AP Calculus homework, so I took a break to write this (whatever this would be). I have no idea what I was thinking, or doing, when I wrote this. meh. At least it is fun to read aloud.

Scribble.
-----------------------------------

Scribble.
Scribble scribble scribble
Take the x
dx
integrate, simplify.
Revolve, rotate, evolve.
More complex. yes.
phi delta y
oh why?

scribble more. scribble less
scribble less dx, or is it dy?
look up, then back down.
calculate, postulate, integrate once more
find that lost variable
differentiate.

scribble scrib--SCRATCH!
Thats it!
scribble scratch scribble integrate two
simplify pi x dx/dy
pilfering thousands of equations
equating to something
not the variable
an abstraction?

quibble scribble fiddlesticks
it eludes, that invisibility
analyze, cogitate, cogitate, analyze. scribble.
Agh. Methods fail, time to learn
time once more
to integrate
to differentiate
scribble scrabble.

Prove set R, a^b-c. c remains still
integrating plus C
minus c. scribble.
not proof. not proven.
Still a mystery.
Stubborn thing, x xor clarify.
scramble.

It seeks me, answer most impossible.
try to find my variable
of my own fruition
one that, unlike others.
has an unreachable domain.
scribble.

The variable is still lost
within the mathematical void
even in it's cardinality
it's divinity
no more.

-Michael (coypright 2005)

so........ am I insane now?

2. Apr 15, 2005

### JasonRox

Sounds like a rap song.

I like it. :)

3. Apr 15, 2005

### Staff: Mentor

I like it too motai!

4. Apr 15, 2005

### Danger

I don't normally like poetry, but this one is pretty cool. Also, it makes more sense to me than anything else involving math.

Irrelevant... it's a good poem anyway.

5. Apr 15, 2005

### Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
I like it as well, though not so much as a rap song. I like the short, choppy sort of meter the poem has...it makes you feel the frustration of doing the homework, sort of the building anxiety. It reminds me of Poe's style.

6. Apr 15, 2005

### motai

hmm... I didn't imagine writing it for a rap song (ponders)... it was really more of a poem that just sort of happened. And the meter really is choppy hehe, definitely one of the more abstract poems I have written in a while. It's also somewhat stream of consciousness.

7. Apr 15, 2005

### motai

Hmm.. I have a tendency to not understand my own work, so I have to end up staring at it for quite some time until I can get any meaning out of it.

And since I go insane unless I can fully interpret what a poem means (even my own) I have to figure it out (again even if it is my own work). At least I got a chance to read it aloud in my English literature class. From my interpretation it is surprisingly deep and says much of human nature, considering that the majority of it is just abstract scribbling.

Should I do a self-critique? Might as well. I'll put it in white so as to not spoil other interpretations .

One thing I have noticed is that my usage of the word "scribble" changes in meaning as the poem progresses. At first it literally meant to hastily scribble a formula on the board, but near the end of the poem it meant to scratch something out as if it weren't wanted.

The mathematics itself is meaningless, with the scribbling and quibbling exemplifying the uselessness of it. This implies that, contrary to the poem's entire nature, has little to do with mathematics itself (and yet it makes quite a few references towards it). Rather (my own interpretation) signifies the inability to solve my own problems, oftentimes rationalizing and putting it in convenient forms of methodology such as equations and the like. The entire poem switches back and forth from the speaker's actions on the board and his thought progressions. It is a somewhat strange mixture of stream of consciousness and first person narrative.

The anticipation and epiphany present in "Thats it!" is illusory, "Methods fail" and the scribbles afterward (not to mention the self-indignation over the inability to solve the problem) indicate otherwise. The speaker also "equated it to something" but not the variable the speaker was looking for.

I misused "c remains still" out of context with the integration of terms below it, which is usually denoted by the big C, and also (unintentionally) created even more confusion by reinstituting little c at the end of the integral.

Notice the usage of the logical term xor.
Also notice the interchangability of y and why, also can be substituted in "simplify pi dx/dwhy."

The mathematics goes from complex (integration) to simpler (differentiation), a desperate attempt by the speaker to create some sense out of the confusion given.

It seems that, through personal analysis, my nature has a difficult time trying to solve for problems that cannot easily be solved. Applications of logic and mathematics don't really help a great deal and in the end only cause confusion (which ironically isn't usually supposed to happen but it does because of the unquantifiable nature of human nature). An almost Hamlet-like indecision, constantly cogitating over something not easily grasped.

EDIT: wow... that was longer than I expected.

Last edited: Apr 15, 2005