Wednesday Poem

Helping With Math Homework

In the beginning
there were polynomials

differences of squares
trial and error

and the sum of two cubes.
X2 minus Y2

has always had
the same meaning

whatever it is.
But when Pythagoras

looked into
the eye of a triangle

and saw the solution
I wasn’t there.

Nor have I ever found
anything more

than safety in numbers.
This is the new math

these are your problems
and I was born

before the back of the book.
What I have been saying is this:

I can lead you
only so far into wisdom.

you must begin to learn

how to be ignorant
on your own.

by John Stone
In All This Rain