Sunday, December 20, 2015

Who put the pie in Pythagoras?

Irish poet and physicist Iggy McGovern has written both humorous and serious verse.  Today we have lines from him that startle and amuse -- below I present, with his permission, selections from his collection Safe House (Dedalus Press, 2010).  Here are "Belfast Inequalities" and "Proverbs for the Computer Age":

Belfast Inequalities     by Iggy McGovern
                          for Master Devlin
       Who put the pie in Pythagoras,
       who put the bra in algebra
       and who was the first to say: Let x
       be that unknown quantity in sex?
       the answer's in some chromosome
       and not the sums you do at home 

       to win at Spot-The-Ball, for by
       the time you get to take away
       the number you first started with,
       the best lookin' girls in Lower Fifth
       are gone and when will you understand
       that half a loaf is better than
       no bread but round here everyone says:
       No Bread Is Better Than Kennedy's!

Proverbs for the Computer Age     by Iggy McGovern

       An Apple a day keeps the hacker away
       Baud news travels fast
       Better to light one Intel than to cursor the darkness 
       When the mat’s away the mouse will play
       Necessity is the motherboard of invention
       Every blog has its day
       Fight virus with virus
       All that twitters is not scrolled
       Let sleeping laptops lie
       Beware of geeks bearing gifs

McGovern's most recent poetry collection is A Mystic Dream of Four (Quaternia Press, 2013) -- a collection of sonnets based on the life and times of Irish mathematician and poet William Rowan Hamilton (1805-65).  We will sample this volume in a future post.

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