Martin Gardner (1914-2010), featured also in my June 6 posting, would have been 96 years old today--October 21, 2010. All over the world lovers of mathematical puzzles have taken time today to celebrate Gardner's puzzling--and the ways it stimulated their own. Although Gardner disclaimed poetic gifts, he popularized puzzle poems written by others -- and he introduced the poetry strategies of the OULIPO (see March 25, August 5, and August 23 postings) to American readers. Here is a puzzle poem, by an unknown author, included in Gardner's Puzzles from Other Worlds (Vintage, 1984) and in Strange Attractors (A K Peters, 2008).
I am obliged to plant a grove,
To please the pretty girl I love.
This curious grove I must compose
Of nineteen trees in nine straight rows;
And in each row, five trees must place,
Or I may never see her face.
Now, readers brave, I'm in no jest.
Pray lend your aid and do your best.