“Plane Geometry”

‘Twas Euclid, and the theorem pi
Did plane and solid in the text,
All parallel were the radii,
And the ang-gulls convex’d.

“Beware the Wentworth-Smith, my son,
And the Loci that vacillate;
Beware the Axiom, and shun
The faithless Postulate.”

He took his Waterman in hand;
Long time the proper proof he sought;
Then rested he by the XYZ
And sat awhile in thought.

And as in inverse thought he sat
A brilliant proof, in lines of flame,
All neat and trim, it came to him,
Tangenting as it came.

“AB, CD,” reflected he–
The Waterman went snicker-snack–
He Q.E.D.-ed, and, proud indeed,
He trapezoided back.

“And hast thou proved the 29th?
Come to my arms, my radius boy!
O good for you! O one point two!”
He rhombused in his joy.

‘Twas Euclid, and the theorem pi
Did plane and solid in the text;
All parallel were the radii,
And the ang-gulls convex’d.

— Emma Rounds

Altered States

There’s a girl out in Ann Arbor, Mich.,
To meet whom I never would wich.
She’d gobble ice cream
Till with colic she’d scream,
Then order another big dich.

A handsome young gent down in Fla.
Collapsed in a hospital ca.
A young nurse from Me.
Sought to banish his pe.
And shot him. Now what could be ha.?

There was a young lady from Del.
Who was most undoubtedly wel.
That to dress for a masque
Wasn’t much of a tasque,
But she cried, “What the heck will my fel.?”

There are plenty of people in Md.
Who think that their state is a fd.
It seems odd to find
That they don’t really mind
That Wis., not Md., is Dd.

See This Sceptred Isle.

In a Word

semiopathy
n. the tendency to read humorously inappropriate meanings into signs

CROSS CHILDREN WALK. Don’t listen to their screams,
But watch the CAUTION MEN AT WORK. It seems
They’re making sure that all DEAF CHILDREN DRIVE
CAREFULLY. Now let us look alive,
And take TRUCKS TURNING (named for Captain Trucks,
Who turned here when he went out hunting ducks).
Here on a sign the advertising’s clear
(Though deer can’t tell the time) for WATCH FOR DEER.
At FREE MUNICIPAL PARKING let us pause,
And wonder who enslaved it, for what cause.
A DANGEROU is what we’ll hope to see:
DANGEROUS CROSSINGs certainly abound.
Now will they leap across from tree to tree,
Or buck the passing traffic on the ground?

— Ralph P. Boas Jr.

“Doppelgänger”

Entering the lonely house with my wife
I saw him for the first time
Peering furtively from behind a bush –
Blackness that moved,
A shape amid the shadows,
A momentary glimpse of gleaming eyes
Revealed in the ragged moon.
A closer look (he seemed to turn) might have
Put him to flight forever –
I dared not
(For reasons that I failed to understand),
Though I knew I should act at once.

I puzzled over it, hiding alone,
Watching the woman as she neared the gate.
He came, and I saw him crouching
Night after night.
Night after night
He came, and I saw him crouching,
Watching the woman as she neared the gate.

I puzzled over it, hiding alone –
Though I knew I should act at once,
For reasons that I failed to understand
I dared not
Put him to flight forever.

A closer look (he seemed to turn) might have
Revealed in the ragged moon
A momentary glimpse of gleaming eyes
A shape amid the shadows,
Blackness that moved.

Peering furtively from behind a bush,
I saw him, for the first time,
Entering the lonely house with my wife.

— J.A. Lindon

Mater Goose

Studious John Horner,
Of Latin no scorner,
In the second declension did spy
How nouns there are some
Which ending in um
Do not make their plural in i.

Jack and Jill
Have studied Mill,
And all that sage has taught, too.
Now both promote
Jill’s claim to vote,
As every good girl ought to.

Harper’s, quoted in William T. Dobson, Poetical Ingenuities and Eccentricities, 1882

scripta mathematica - twinkle poem

— Ralph Barton, Science in Rhyme and Without Reason, 1924, reprinted in Scripta Mathemetica, October 1936

Better Homes

http://books.google.com/books?id=bmA4AAAAYAAJ&pg=PA51&dq=burgess+%22i+wish+that+my+room+had+a+floor%22&hl=en&ei=ykGWTPOHOoL-8Aafg4mNDA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CD8Q6AEwAw#v=onepage&q&f=false

I wish that my room had a floor!
I don’t so much care for a door,
But this crawling around
Without touching the ground
Is getting to be quite a bore!

— Gelett Burgess, The Burgess Nonsense Book, 1901

Here’s to the man who invented stairs
And taught our feet to soar!
He was the first who ever burst
Into a second floor.

The world would be downstairs to-day
Had he not found the key;
So let his name go down to fame,
Whatever it may be.

— Oliver Herford, Happy Days, 1917