Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

Thanks for the compliment!

Friday, January 20th, 2012

I’ve found little to write about since December, but I check all comments that my site gets. Nearly all are spam, but I really loved the following one, whose author and his/her (commercial) internet link I’ll spare you:

One thing I have realized in all your blog posts and I thought I’d compliment you on is how good your English and grammar are. How did you figure out how to write so well? It looks like you have a degree in writing from a University.

Here’s what I would have answered if I’d taken this seriously:

Thank you ever so much for that charming compliment. I have a university degree, but it’s in mathematics, so not related to writing per se. However, for the last three years I have been an Associate Editor for one of the largest online dictionaries, the OEDILF (Omnificient English Dictionary In Limerick Form).

Need I mention that this “comment” will be published in the OEDILF forum? I’m sure my collaborators will be impressed.

Merry Christmas, Eve

Saturday, December 24th, 2011

Here’s another limerick I wrote for the OEDILF:

Christmas Eve

“I see that you cannot conceive
Of my plans for you, so please believe
That this present, dear Adam,
Is now your new Madam.
Merry Christmas,” spake God. (Enter Eve)

Brave New World

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

Back in June 2007 I wrote this limerick version of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World for the OEDILF:

I lie here bare-naked: no pants
And no shirt. But then, softly, some chants
Fill my yet-unborn ear.
And the voices ring clear:
“Now let’s watch how the doctor decants.”

In a crêche I grow up with the others.
We are eighty identical brothers.
Hypnopaedically we
Learn how life soon will be,
Taught by nurses — not fathers and mothers.

I’m a Delta, and we are the best.
Epsilons are really a pest.
And when meeting a Gamma
I just start to stammer —
They work so much more than the rest.

The Alphas and Betas, now they
Live a life which is dismal and grey.
Though their bodies aren’t strong
They must think all day long,
Which I’d never endure, come what may.

I work hard all my short adult life,
But I know neither “struggle” nor “strife”.
For the factory’s noise
Any Delta enjoys
More than children, or friends, or a wife.

Once I’m sixty there will come a time —
Up to then I’ll remain in my prime —
When my brain will grow old,
And my flesh will get cold,
I’ll recycle, to smoke and to slime.

So this is the future for me!
You’ll enjoy it! As now so do we.
If you’re brought up my way,
You will love every day
Of the Brave New World that is to be.

Correlation

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

I’ve been a member of the OEDILF, the Omnificent English Dictionary In Limerick Form, since February 2007, an online project attempting to define every word in the English language by a suitable limerick. When a limerick alone isn’t enough, one may add an “author’s note” to provide additional information. Over the last years, I’ve written a number of limericks defining mathematical terms — a subject shunned by most and feared by some other OEDILF authors, and I’ll be presenting some of them here. Here’s an old one from February 2008:

Correlation

Recent tests show that so-called “IQs”
Bear no strong correlation to who’s
Rich or poor, black or white,
Male or female, but might
Correspond with the size of your shoes.

Statistics do, in fact, prove a strong correlation between IQ-test results and shoe sizes. Young children tend to have very small feet, and their test results, given the same tests, hardly ever beat those of adults (whose feet are larger). Such cases show that correlation between two seemingly unrelated numbers (test results and shoe sizes) may be due to a hidden factor (age).

Many statistics of this kind seem profound and meaningful until the hidden connexion is revealed, and then they look trivial. Say someone claimed that a study found a large majority of all traffic accidents in Israel were caused by Jews. That might lead you to think that Jews are bad drivers — until you start asking who lives in Israel and might own a car. So don’t trust statistics alone; use your brain!