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!

Abacus

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.

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