# 7 Poems Found in Advanced Calculus

*The following poems were found in my advanced calculus notes, my professor’s words in lecture, and my state of mind as I prepared for a big midterm.*

Partial derivatives of higher order, section two point one five.

Higher derivatives of composite functions, section two point one six.

I understand what it is to continue to derive once, twice, maybe three times.

But looking out at the way the sun is shining on the river and the trees of this integral city in the middle of this cliché of a season –

I also understand Crayola’s plight and frustration and fight

for more unattainable descriptors.

And yet even more, I understand why (64, 96, 120-and-a-built-in-sharpener tries later)

they keep trying to derive a word from those unapologetic rays,

Once, twice, maybe three times.

***

**What It Means To Transform**

If T is given by a matrix, then it is linear.

If T is linear, then T is given by a matrix.

Together – if and only if.

***

**to solve, verb**

The solution y=f(x) works

within some interval around x,

maybe large

maybe small

***

Not only does mathematics describe the universe,

but it is quite possible that mathematics is the universe.

There is nothing wrong with being an engineer;

Most of their bridges don’t fall down.

***

**v, u, x, y**

There was once a mapping of the form

x=f(u,v) and y=g(u,v)

And such, an inverse mapping too,

defining vee and you

in terms of ex and why.

The Jacobian matrix of the inverse mapping is

simply the inverse of the Jacobian of the mapping.

And doesn’t that seem simple, really?

Just an inverse from vee to you

to ex and – why

***

**An Isolated Direction**

a directional derivative in an isolated

x direction;

y direction;

z direction;

whatever you can see direction;

is just a partial derivative

***

**outline of a section not on the syllabus**

making approximation tables ew

so many tables

is there even a real answer to this?

Wait – no –

you don’t have to know this

nope not at all

goodbye carry on next section

**Category**: featured, Poetry, Prose and Comedy, Science and Technology

As a math teacher, I am truly moved. There is obviously poetry there, and I was wondering ‘why? what makes it poetry?’. Is it because the mathematical words are full of meaning? And such a deep meaning, with its background and connotations, is suddenly linked to a simple daily feeling.

I always liked the phrase “if and only if”

The way I read your mathematics/engineer poem was as a subtle burn to engineers. As in, “your bridges are pretty good, but my field literally is everything. Burn.” I don’t know if that was your intent but I was amused.

That was actually a direct quote from my professor, so I will deflect.