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Jun 2013
There is a harsh beauty in mathematics.
Under curves and over slopes,
Equations rise and fall endlessly
In a perfectly measured void.
Optimized, rationalized, sterilized;
Formulas that never lie,
Theorems looming before us
Like an archaic God,
A golden deity whose
Volume is maximized.
How I dream of drifting in this flux,
Concave up and concave down,
Riding the sign of my second derivative
For positive and negative,
For better and worse.
I would not travel alone;
With C by my side,
Friend, ally, brother,
Always paired with my antiderivative,
For whenever we journey back
Into the past, it is necessary
To have a companion to pull us out again
In case we are unsure of where we started.
Rules and laws
Strict organization, control;
There is a harsh beauty in mathematics.
Order; two plus two is always four.
Sines and cosines and theta
All dancing in the unit circle of life,
A conga line that joins itself
To form a mathematical ouroboros.
But the harshest of the harsh beauties
Presented in this Divine Subject
Is that though there is an infinite capacity
For positivity and growth,
So too is there the possibility of stretching
Endlessly towards negativity forever.
However, it is much more terrifying
To lie in the middle;
To be undefined, unknowable, and to add
Or subtract to no effect;
The most fear inducing, mysterious, and gorgeous number
Of zero; nothing yet something,
Infinite yet not,
The most grand of all contradictions.
A hole; a jump; a discontinuity,
Easily removed from life and smoothed out
If you just apply the formulas.
Graphs and coordinates, integers and ordered pairs,
Is that not what life is?
We live within the grandest equation,
Each our own variable,
Constantly solving for ourselves
With the harsh beauties of mathematics.
Written by
Joshua Brown
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