## MATH POETRY

*Editor’s note: In this math exploration,*

**Rhea L****.****(‘18)**uses poetry to describe math concepts.Sine, a lonely guy

My name is Sine

Not Stan

Or Sean, but really

Sine.

I come from the land of angles

Some people also call it trianglesville

I don’t have much preference about it,

You see.

Yeah, that’s the thing with me.

People think I am strong and mighty

My initials pop up first in

SOHCAHTOA

That’s an honor, they say

No.

I think I need to distance myself from my brother and sister

Cosine and tangent are great, truly

And I really do love them, dearly

But it’s time I get a one-way ticket to independence alley

And never come back.

Here’s the thing:

They only let you enter the alley if you’re a number

Roaming free with no one yanking you back

But I cannot roam the countryside

I am depended on by too many sides and angles

And long, long numbers…

I am a ratio and I am not proud of it.

Oh, how I long for the freedom of my dear Hypotenuse

She’s just a side, a number, a distance!

And oh my, she can even be 1,

Her persona with her friend Unit Circle

What a beauty dear Hypotenuse is.

We do hang out a lot, if you must know

Hypotenuse and me

But it tends to be in a group of three,

Never alone.

Stupid Opposite is always tagging along

If only I could shake him off, then lovely Hypotenuse and I would finally be,

Alone.

Explanation of “Sine, a lonely guy”

This poem does not follow any real poetic structure, so the lack of rhyming, the punctuation, the stanza length, the number of stanzas, and the capitalization was all my choice. When I imagine “sine,” I honestly imagine him as a sad little guy moping around; I am not quite sure why. So I wanted to make this poem reflect his lack of confidence in being a ratio and his jealousy of more simple concepts like “hypotenuse.” This poem was a “write whatever came to mind” type of poem because I was not restricted by structure or rhyme scheme. I was somewhat inspired by Harry Baker’s poem about 59 who was in love with 60, and I kind of played off that idea of one mathematical concept admiring another.

Sonnet =

The sturdy equals sign

The glue of so many equations

Two lines, simply sublime

You could call it an equals sign invasion

You can pick out equals and his four sisters

Plus, minus, multiply, and divide

Sweet little equals is the only mister

This sign family are our guides

But equals only appears when things are exact

When things make sense

This plus this always equals that

With sweet little equals, there's no suspense

Equals is our mathematics master

Without him, our world = disaster

Explanation of Sonnet =

“Sonnet =” is a Shakespearean sonnet, so it follows a very rigid structure. The rhyme scheme and stanzas go like this: ABAB, BCBC, EFEF, GG. I really enjoy writing sonnets even though it is hard to come up with words that rhyme and advance the story or point you want to make. In “Sonnet =,” I highlight the importance of the equals sign in the world of mathematics because honestly, without it I do think there would be disaster.

Ode to the Pythagorean Theorem

Ode to Mr. Pythagoras and his fantastical theorem.

How helpful it has been for thousands of years.

Any math student’s pal and sidekick.

Conquering triangles side by side.

Ode to the shortcuts old Pythagoras provided.

You have a right triangle?

Two side lengths?

The third comes on a silver platter.

We thank you.

Ode to the rowdy, diverse bunch of Pythagorean triples.

3, 4, 5 and 5, 12, 13 -- the list goes on.

When they appear on my page, my smile brightens a thousand watts.

Oh, how much easier this problem has become!

So familiar, so clean…

So special.

This poem is an ode, which usually praises someone or something. I am not sure if there is a specific structure for an ode, so I made the choice of stanza lengths, punctuation, rhyme scheme, etc. In this case, I am praising the Pythagorean Theorem for its brilliance and its helpfulness. It comes in handy so often, especially on standardized testing and makes problems so much easier. I just felt the need to give the Pythagorean Theorem a little love in this poem.

Haiku Trig

Trigonometry

Sine, Cosine, Tan, ratios

Don’t mess up the graph

Haiku 0

Zero is special

Never a counting number

But an integer

Haiku Prime

Prime numbers, wonky

They have only two factors

Just one and themselves

Haikus are very short poems that follow an extremely strict structure: The first line has 5 syllables, the second has 7, and the third has 5. I don’t have much to say about these other than the fact that they are really fun to write. It is hard to make cohesive points in such a compact, rigid poem, so that is why they sound a little choppy, but they make me laugh so I enjoy them!

My name is Sine

Not Stan

Or Sean, but really

Sine.

I come from the land of angles

Some people also call it trianglesville

I don’t have much preference about it,

You see.

Yeah, that’s the thing with me.

People think I am strong and mighty

My initials pop up first in

SOHCAHTOA

That’s an honor, they say

No.

I think I need to distance myself from my brother and sister

Cosine and tangent are great, truly

And I really do love them, dearly

But it’s time I get a one-way ticket to independence alley

And never come back.

Here’s the thing:

They only let you enter the alley if you’re a number

Roaming free with no one yanking you back

But I cannot roam the countryside

I am depended on by too many sides and angles

And long, long numbers…

I am a ratio and I am not proud of it.

Oh, how I long for the freedom of my dear Hypotenuse

She’s just a side, a number, a distance!

And oh my, she can even be 1,

Her persona with her friend Unit Circle

What a beauty dear Hypotenuse is.

We do hang out a lot, if you must know

Hypotenuse and me

But it tends to be in a group of three,

Never alone.

Stupid Opposite is always tagging along

If only I could shake him off, then lovely Hypotenuse and I would finally be,

Alone.

Explanation of “Sine, a lonely guy”

This poem does not follow any real poetic structure, so the lack of rhyming, the punctuation, the stanza length, the number of stanzas, and the capitalization was all my choice. When I imagine “sine,” I honestly imagine him as a sad little guy moping around; I am not quite sure why. So I wanted to make this poem reflect his lack of confidence in being a ratio and his jealousy of more simple concepts like “hypotenuse.” This poem was a “write whatever came to mind” type of poem because I was not restricted by structure or rhyme scheme. I was somewhat inspired by Harry Baker’s poem about 59 who was in love with 60, and I kind of played off that idea of one mathematical concept admiring another.

Sonnet =

The sturdy equals sign

The glue of so many equations

Two lines, simply sublime

You could call it an equals sign invasion

You can pick out equals and his four sisters

Plus, minus, multiply, and divide

Sweet little equals is the only mister

This sign family are our guides

But equals only appears when things are exact

When things make sense

This plus this always equals that

With sweet little equals, there's no suspense

Equals is our mathematics master

Without him, our world = disaster

Explanation of Sonnet =

“Sonnet =” is a Shakespearean sonnet, so it follows a very rigid structure. The rhyme scheme and stanzas go like this: ABAB, BCBC, EFEF, GG. I really enjoy writing sonnets even though it is hard to come up with words that rhyme and advance the story or point you want to make. In “Sonnet =,” I highlight the importance of the equals sign in the world of mathematics because honestly, without it I do think there would be disaster.

Ode to the Pythagorean Theorem

Ode to Mr. Pythagoras and his fantastical theorem.

How helpful it has been for thousands of years.

Any math student’s pal and sidekick.

Conquering triangles side by side.

Ode to the shortcuts old Pythagoras provided.

You have a right triangle?

Two side lengths?

The third comes on a silver platter.

We thank you.

Ode to the rowdy, diverse bunch of Pythagorean triples.

3, 4, 5 and 5, 12, 13 -- the list goes on.

When they appear on my page, my smile brightens a thousand watts.

Oh, how much easier this problem has become!

So familiar, so clean…

So special.

**Explanation of “Ode to the Pythagorean Theorem”**This poem is an ode, which usually praises someone or something. I am not sure if there is a specific structure for an ode, so I made the choice of stanza lengths, punctuation, rhyme scheme, etc. In this case, I am praising the Pythagorean Theorem for its brilliance and its helpfulness. It comes in handy so often, especially on standardized testing and makes problems so much easier. I just felt the need to give the Pythagorean Theorem a little love in this poem.

Haiku Trig

Trigonometry

Sine, Cosine, Tan, ratios

Don’t mess up the graph

Haiku 0

Zero is special

Never a counting number

But an integer

Haiku Prime

Prime numbers, wonky

They have only two factors

Just one and themselves

**Explanations of the above haikus:**Haikus are very short poems that follow an extremely strict structure: The first line has 5 syllables, the second has 7, and the third has 5. I don’t have much to say about these other than the fact that they are really fun to write. It is hard to make cohesive points in such a compact, rigid poem, so that is why they sound a little choppy, but they make me laugh so I enjoy them!