Abacus – A Plath-Inspired Poem About the Struggle of Maths

Foreword: Over the past four weeks I have been studying the poems of Sylvia Plath as part of my IB English Literature class. I was horrified at first by the poet’s repeated themes of death and suicides, but her confessional poetry style inspired me to write one myself. I had not written a poem in years, but I think this one is pretty decent. It has a self-depreciating tone to it, but from the feedback I got so far from my friends, they could relate to it at a personal level. I dedicate this poem to everyone who struggles daily with mathematics in school, myself included!


A. A. Kamalov

“Open page six-hundred sixty six.”

What? Can you not comprehend,

Or is mere mention

Of digits cause a slight convulsion?


So why do you bother to attend?

You are ill; I have the correct cure

A dose of methamphetamine, prescribed –

To soften that insomniac visage.


No? You refuse my assistance

And keep desisting. Understand that

Formulae and functions

Sustain your slipping sanity.


Universal, God created all in

Six days, He calculates

And you should too. It’s plain simple:

Logic, trinity and sin, ‘cause


All is answered in numerals.

Pythagoras, Newton, the giants –

Thank Lord for your existence.

Still unconvinced? Let me hand you


This ancient abacus; divine device

Bestowing intellect to ineptitude

Millions, graduate with its blessing;

Yet you do not, you tumble and turn.


A past prime figure, a legend;

Pride of your forbears. But today,

A piercing katana, crushed hopes

Dream to reborn from crimson crosses –


Infinite failures.



What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s