Monday, June 13, 2016

When parallel lines meet, that is LOVE

Bernadette Turner teaches mathematics at Lincoln University in Missouri. And, via a long-ago email (lost for a while, and then found) she has offered this love poem enlivened by the terminology of geometry.

Parallel Lines Joined Forever    by Bernadette Turner

       We started out as just two parallel lines
       in the plane of life.
       I noticed your good points from afar,
       but always kept same distance.
       I assumed that you had not noticed me at all.  

       But one day, you changed.
       You began to transform,
       Rotating about one of your incredible points,
       I could see it all happening.
       You were headed straight for me,
       there would be an intersection,
       a sharing of a single point…
       and we, no longer parallel,
       would have something in common.

       As you continued to rotate about our shared point,
       I began to further observe the symmetry we could make 
       The rotations formed different spaces between our sides,
       and these were always the same if you looked on either 
             side of me.
       As we continued to relish our joining in a single point, with you 
             rotating about me,
       We affectionately named those spaces, “angles”.
       After a time, we began to wonder,
       exactly what would occur if we further closed the space 
             between us,
       could we possibly intersect in every point?

       And then one day my wonderful rotating line
       decided that we could intersect in every point.
       What would happen if we did?
       Would one of us be lost forever?
       Would my awesome rotating line ever want to rotate again?
       But my gallant line observed that the rotation
       could be more complete this way
       … so I said “yes”.
       And so we became one line
       What bliss!
       We were everything together,
       intersecting in every point,
       no more rotating—
       this joining went to infinity.

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