Friday, October 19, 2007

Rhyme Time

I got a lot of feedback on yesterday's poem, mostly of the "it didn't rhyme" variety. I congratulate everyone's powers of perception. Not ALL poems have to rhyme, they don't even need to have form, although I'll admit they really lose interest as they get increasingly "original." I actually prefer rhyming poems, just ask my wife, who's been fortunate enough to get a "Korpi" original the last 10 years on our wedding anniversary (she just wants flowers, but flowers don't rhyme, so she still gets a compilation of limericks and ab-cb rhyme schemes.)

I'm a HUGE fan of rhyming poets like Ogden Nash, Shel Silverstein, and Doctor Seuss--those guys were/are lyrical geniuses. Their poems were playful, light-hearted AND poignant, so the rhyme-type poem was a perfect vehicle for them (although Wordsworth and Keats managed to pull off their serious tone in perfect rhyme.) Other serious, more dry, poets like Goethe, Whitman, and Maya Angelou mostly stay away from the rhyme and from the whimsical tone.

Yesterday, I was in a serious, reflective mood, brooding over my role at preparing students for life beyond school, often against the support of the students and their parents who tend to focus on the here and now, and who question my methods. It was a very purgative. Today, I'm feeling more playful and mischievous. So here's a "rhymer." Call it, "Ode to Joe."

Coffee is a dear part of my life,
even though it is bad for my spleen.
The start of each and every one of my days,
requires a high intake of caffeine.

Just one cup a day is all that I need,
If indeed it's a big enough mug.
No sugar, no creamer, and no fancy blend,
The blacker--the better the drug.

Some tell me to cut back, I'm drinking too much,
That I've got to curtail my addiction.
But I see it quite different, as a matter of fact,
I believe its a salubrious affliction.

Without it I can't even manage to think,
And the headache I get is severe.
But just one sip of the dark warm, elixir,
and my head and my mind are all clear.

It's even been said of mathematical folks,
That we transform the caffeinated serum,
from a hot, steaming cup of black Java,
into an abstruse mathematical theorem.

This much I can tell you is true,
That it helps me to think much more deeply.
But as much of it as I drink daily,
It's not a price that really comes cheaply.

But it's definitely worth the high price,
I'm not throwing money away,
'cause it's all that I have in the morning,
My breakfast's a coffee buffet.

When I'm alone in my room each new morning,
I relish the quiet time alone,
with just me and my theorems and coffee,
I'm in my mathematical zone.

The small warming sips from the rim of my mug,
Fill me with quiet assurance.
For I know when the students finally arrive,
It'll give me the proper endurance.

Who cares if it makes my breath stinky and foul,
It's nothing some gum can't repair!
Besides, it is nice when I run out of gum,
It's keeps the kids out of my hair.

So "Here's to you coffee! Thanks for all that you do,
I appreciate your stimulant feature.
Your affect on my life has been profound indeed.
Without you, I'd be a cranky, math teacher."


Anonymous said...

Now that's more like it!!! Good job!

kwkorpi said...

It's amazing how rhymy I can be after my cup of coffee!