Humorous Math Poem Contest

April 1, 2011 at 12:24 am 6 comments

April is:

With such a glorious coincidence1 of human-created holidays, I feel like I have to do something big. Monumental, even. But what? I thought about preparing a major April Fools prank, such as preparing a fake video about spaghetti growing on trees or publishing an article about how the Alabama legislature passed a law setting π = 3. But since those have already been done, I decided on something a little different…

Announcing the MJ4MF Humorous Math Poem Contest!

Venn Diagram - April

That’s right! Submit your original entries of humorous math poems.

The format is entirely up to you.

  • Try your hand at the highly mathematical haiku.
  • Author a sonnet about your love of numbers. 
  • Use ALGEBRA to create an acrostic poem.
  • Or, get a little seedy with a limerick about doing problem sets late at night.

The only rule, really, is that your submission must be completely original. Please don’t copy a poem from another website or transcribe one of J. A. Lindon’s gems.

Post your poem in the comments section, or send it to me privately at Next week, I’ll compile all entries into a single post and create a poll so visitors can vote for their favorite. The author of the best poem, as selected by the readers of the MJ4MF blog, will receive an autographed copy of Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks, as well as a special secret prize.

Good luck, and have fun!

To get the creative juices flowing, you can read a few classics below, or check out The Square Root of Three.

Pi goes on and on and on…
And e is likewise cursed.
I wonder: Which is larger
When the digits are reversed?
     – J. A. Lindon

I used to think math was no fun,
‘Cause I couldn’t see how it was done.
But Euler’s my hero
For I now see why zero
Equals eiπ + 1.
     – Paul Nahin

With my hands in a fire
And my arse on some ice
I’d say that, on average,
I feel rather nice.
     – an MJ4MF original (sort of)

1 Speaking of coincidence, John Allen Paulos wrote, “…though it is unlikely that any particular sequence of events specified beforehand will occur, there is a high probability that some remarkable sequence will be observed subsequently” (A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper, p. 50). You might also like his first book, Innumeracy.

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6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. JimsMaher  |  April 3, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    “Start at one”

    Numbers are counted.
    One, two, three …
    But some numbers are skipped,
    it’s plain to see.

    We never count zero
    because it’s not there.
    And the complex numbers
    are as visible as air.

    It is only the Natural numbers
    that we will count,
    from one on up
    to any amount.

    However, the last number
    can never be known
    because you can always add one
    however high that you go

    And so we keep counting,
    from one, to two, to three …
    With the Natural numbers we keep counting,
    from one up-to infinity.

  • 2. JimsMaher  |  April 3, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    Please, replace ‘complex’ (2nd stanza, 3rd line) with ‘imaginary’. Given that the target audience for my poem are youngsters, “imaginary numbers” make more sense than “complex numbers”, with only the abstruse explanation from the context of the poem.

    The zero joke (2nd stanza again) was remembered from childhood, and it made me laugh when I first heard it. It still makes me smile just thinking about the concept.

    • 3. venneblock  |  April 3, 2011 at 7:58 pm

      Jim —
      I can’t revise your reply, but you can. Feel free to log on to WordPress, edit your reply, then delete your follow-up message.

  • 4. Chris Smith  |  August 4, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    Just read your post tonight and decided to pen a quick verse. Know I’m too late for the competition but thought you might like it.

    Some folk they dream of wealth or fame
    or that some girl would know their name-
    pathetic! I reserve my slumber
    for imagining my favourite number.
    As rapid movement stirs my eyes
    no need for me to fantasise
    of infinitely distant wishes.
    Instead I feast on π- delicious.

    • 5. venneblock  |  August 6, 2011 at 9:27 pm

      Chris, I think this is great! Thanks for sharing, even if it is past the deadline.

  • 6. Mo’ Math Limericks | Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks  |  August 4, 2017 at 11:33 pm

    […] Humorous Math Poem Contest […]


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About MJ4MF

The Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks blog is an online extension to the book Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks. The blog contains jokes submitted by readers, new jokes discovered by the author, details about speaking appearances and workshops, and other random bits of information that might be interesting to the strange folks who like math jokes.

MJ4MF (offline version)

Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks is available from Amazon, Borders, Barnes & Noble, NCTM, Robert D. Reed Publishers, and other purveyors of exceptional literature.

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April 2011

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