The Mathematician’s Folly

This is a short story that rhymes at most places.
This isn’t a mile long poem, but rather a story written in stanzas…

… A tale of how a grieving mathematician tries in desperation to find a way to resurrect his lost love using the magic of the king of fractions- the number π.

^ Listen to the first 100 digits of the number π being played on piano, by aSongScout ^

(While here‘s the old video that inspired me originally)


He glanced upon the window-sill
The petals gleamed, the dewdrops still..
He walked across the room and took
The watering can from its hook
Upon the shelf- he poured away
Gently, as he did each day.

He poured his sorrows, he poured his pains
He poured his losses, and his gains.
He spoke in whispers to her green veins:
A rose was she, in a vase with grains
Of sand. He took her in his hand-
He gently caressed the petals bland..
The evening chill had made it so,
She needed warmth: to live and grow.

He chuckled: Live! What a joke!
Oh God, such evil was the stroke
That Fate had dealt to his life and love-
He had cried a lot, he had cried enough..
Now he’d only smile and sadly gaze
Through the censer’s smoky haze..

The mists that drifted slowly in,
Into his chamber; he got up and
He sighed a sigh, he took a book
His sadness he’d momentarily overlook.

Other pressing matters were at hand-
He needed to finish his work as planned.
: A monograph on the king of Fractions-
The master of volumes and areas and curves-
A thousand formulae and equations:
Endless digits!! – It would take nerves
Of steel, and knowledge beyond divine
To write down every number and line!
For the decimal lord that had no end!
Mathematicians cry, “The number pi!”
Such was the thesis he’d have to send.

But suffering as from writer’s block-
His mental faculties were under lock.
His gaze still lingered upon the flower
Now upon his tabletop;
A sad memoir of that happy hour-
Of his past life that had come to a stop.

“Oh how I wish she was here again!”
Moaned the man, “Couldn’t our time
Have been as endless as the number pi?”
But suddenly groaned the windowpane:
– A kitten in white, looking strangely bright
Sat there, eyeing him in disdain.
“You aimless fool! Out from my sight!”
Shrieked the man and rose to his height.
The kitten miaowed and jumped in fright-
Right upon the piano’s keys!
Pom-pom-pom!– and just like a breeze
It crossed the room, knocked over the broom-
And skid out of the door with ease.
But the man had stopped- he stood very still.
Zephyrs swept at his windowsill-
As he heard the noise in his mind again
That the kitten had caused, as it had ran
Upon the keys of the piano.
– a noise or a melody? He didn’t know..

He went up to the sitting-stool.
The pawmarks were still upon the keys;
In surprise, he gaped like a fool!
He pressed the keys- he kept
To the pattern how the cat had stepped.

And voila! His inspiration divine!
Three (point) one four one five nine!
The digits of the godly number in line!
– The idea struck him clear and fine-

Fantastic, no doubt. Raving insane-
He’d nothing to lose, nothing to gain!
The secrets of music were diverse..
Powerful magic, if ever put to verse!
Such an idea had struck his mind;
All this while, had he been blind?
No, deaf! Surely he had been deaf-
Who knows, maybe- what if..?

The number of ancient mysteries:
The number with endless roots like trees-
The essence of distilled permanence-
Stamped into a fractional sentence!
What if it could be played – in tune?
Could marks on stone become un-hewn?
Could it bring back his long lost love?
If not, then what purpose did it serve?

He started, he took a long deep breath-
And played and played, as if Grim Death
Was upon his shoulders, resting his arms
To witness the sight, to hearken the psalms.

Adding each digit to the base of scale
Digit after digit, fingers rose and fell-
Hammers struck chords, notes poured forth:
He toiled his hands, he used them both.
Digit followed digit, one by one-
Sixty-nine,seventy, seventy-one!
On and on he played away-
He played the melodies sad and gray..
Tune led suit to further tunes;
In sanguine truth, the music smooth-
Like Khamsins blowing over desert-dunes;
He played until the notes were gone-
Till he was left with numbers none…
But he wouldn’t give up! – he tried again:
Again again, and yet again!
Repeating the digits, all over- he played
Madness and obsession took over his head.

But slowly,the music ebbed and died…
As he finally ceased his madness wild.
He lay exhausted, sore and red..
Perspiration had wet his burdened head.

He laughed at the vain futility!
What’s gone is gone- it never shall be.
No matter how loud, or passionately
You reach out, call out, to your love-
It shall never ever be loud enough.

“Alas,” he groaned, “Have mercy on me!
Oh god! I’d only asked of thee
To let her live; to let her be free!
Repeal the sentence placed by thou-
The sentence of death upon her brow..
Only this I ask of you now…”

As the last of his echoes died away-
A hush descended upon the room:
No sound was heard, except the sway
Of the curtains, and the windy hum.

Time flowed by, the moon in the sky
Struggled,trudged and climbed up high.
Yet, he lay, broken, upon the floor-
Knees bent, thoughts spent,
No hopes left alive in his mind anymore.

“Miaow!”
“What now?” – he lifted his brow-
Dull pupils looked up as the cat
Walked over the tabletop: and sat-
And as she did, with a swish of her tail
The rose and vase tumbled over and fell.

Hopes and memories came crashing down,
Pieces scattered on the dusty ground.

Every day we die a brand-new death-
Every time we mourn for the past we lost-
Every hour we spend in foolish regret
For things we never paid a cost.
We hold them back, we gather the dust
In our sorry little tiny figurative palms-
We cherish them like some meagre alms…

So did the man; now robbed of his rose
He had nothing to live for, all necrosed.
Stripped of his foolish hope, he rose
And walked over to the french-windows.
He stumbled out onto the terrace wide-
He viewed the city from side to side;
Looking back through the door
– At the rose on the floor;
He turned his head away and sighed..

Closing his eyes, he jumped off the edge…
As he fell, he looked back once more
Once more through the corner of his eye he saw
His chamber as he left this earth behind.

But what trickery was this! Could it be true?
His eyes wide open; as he fell- he knew:
The magic had worked! But worked too late
He was falling beyond the rim of Fate.

Leaving behind poesy, clinging back to prose
Time slowed down to accommodate his last moments
Into an eternity of falling low..
Tears rolled down his eyes in grief-
For in that room, on the piano-seat
Sat a woman, clad in white.
Her fingers gracefully played the keys
Of the notes of the number pi reversed
Reborn was she? Or otherworldly?
The rose gleamed crimson, and lit up the floor.

The man hurtled down and down..
Dying, or moving into other nether worlds?
The eerie notes of the song of ‘ip
Retreating backwards, from infinity to nought..
Endlessly closing in on the singularity of loss-
Endless retrogression,
Two parallel lines shall never cross.


If you did not quite get the last part : 

The mathematician, as he fell- he figuratively fell off the world. He had entered a wholly different dimension that exists after death in reality, after he steps off the edge of the parapet- i.e. Unreality. A place where time didn’t matter and was skewed like a barrel all around him (figuratively). He glances back to see his wish had some true- as he had wished for the life of his beloved , while he clearly had never wished for his own. 

    However, she returns by the power of  iP and not Pi, because it is revealed that it’s needed to play Pi in reverse from infinity to four one (point) three to bring a person back from dead: Which is not possible in reality, because Pi is a non-terminating decimal. However as he transcends to Unreality after death, he views his lover’s resurrection as iPplays itself from infinity to three- the reverse of  Pi.

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