17 April 2009

Some more of Mad Madge's poetry

It is always a pleasure to post some of Margaret Cavendish's. Although dead for 335 years her reputation is such that she is as well and fondly regarded as William Topaz and McIntyre, the cheese poet. Here is one of her science poems.

The Circle of the Brain cannot be Squared

A Circle round divided in four parts

Hath been great Study 'mongst the men of Arts;

Since Archimed's or Euclid's time, each Brain
Hath on a Line been stretched, yet all in Vain;
And every Thought hath been a Figure set,
Doubts Cyphers were, Hopes as Triangles met;

There was Division and Subtraction made,
And Lines drawn out, and Points exactly laid,

But none hath yet by Demonstration found
The way, by which to Square a Circle round:
For while the Brain is round, no Square will be,

While Thoughts divide, no Figures will agree.

And others did upon the same account,

Doubling the Cube to a great number mount;

But some the Triangles did cut so small,

Till into equal Atoms they did fall:
For such is Man's curiosity and mind,
To seek for that, which is hardest to find.


Nevin said...

a very cleaver poem indeed.... :)

I think I will publish a poem in my post today as well. But it will be a little bit more childish.... I bought a poem book specifically for my children last year and for some reason, I love it more then they do... :) Maybe it's because the poems are so simple and cute..

A Doubtful Egg said...

"each Brain
Hath on a Line been stretched"
A great description of the effect of this poem. Another poetic triumph!

jams o donnell said...

I look forward to it Nevin. Haha Egg. I am glad it had a mental effect!