Number Theory This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   Who can understand these things called


Little squiggles, dots, and lines

Marching across the page, s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g

Out by adding and subtracting,

Multiplying and dividing,

Just daring someone - namely me -

to figure them out.

Long the incomprehensible lines grow.

Sufficient only unto themselves,

They extract their roots and

Cube each other.

What if they suddenly decided to

Switch places on us

So that

1 x 1= 72

Who knows

What base they are working in?

Who has picked up an 8 and given it a squeeze

Hoping to separate the circles on top

of each other?

Has anyone considered the possibility of

Letters being male and

Numerals being female?

What would the children be like?

I suppose that

Instead of sitting here and procrastinating,

I should go do my algebra, which

is waiting for me to

Attack it as Napoleon did Russia.

And I suppose that I really shouldn't

disappoint it,

Or them,

Or whatever.

Say, how do you do this stuff, anyway?

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

Join the Discussion

This article has 6 comments. Post your own now!

krazeecasey13 said...
Jan. 27, 2010 at 8:21 pm
i love this poem
because i hate math
schrupp said...
Aug. 26, 2009 at 2:47 am
haha i think anyone that hates the math/science category and loves english/ the arts will love this poem. (including me) =)
Fangz said...
May 13, 2009 at 12:42 pm
Cute. Not too many people write about algebra. I like it.
Kumang said...
May 5, 2009 at 9:00 am
lol its a good one
MichelleLee said...
Apr. 21, 2009 at 9:15 pm
Hahaha. I love this. your a great writter. I can really relate to this completely!
Great job!
rockinitout said...
Oct. 24, 2008 at 3:08 pm
Hahaha, very amusing poem.
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