‘The Cyberiad” by Polish author Stanislaw Lem is a brilliant set of short stories. Its translation from Polish to English is an astounding achievement in itself, faithfully preserving the wonder of the original.
In the book, the ‘Constructor’ Trurl creates an ‘Electronic Bard’, a machine that can create poetry. Trurl’s envious rival, Klaupacius, then attempts to confuse the Bard by asking it to write, "a love poem, lyrical, pastoral, and expressed in the language of pure mathematics. Tensor algebra mainly, with a little topology and higher calculus, if need be. But with feeling, you understand, and in the cybernetic spirit."
The Bard obligingly spits out (annontated version taken from http://lliiaa.com/2005/08/18/lem_love_tensor_algebra.php
Come, let us hasten to a higher plane
tread the fairy fields of Venn
bedecked from one to n
Commingled in an endless Markov chain
Come, every frustum
longs to be a cone
And every vector
dreams of matrices
Hark to the gentle gradient
of the breeze:
It whispers of a more ergodic
or in Banach
go their ways.
no longer out of phase,
We shall encounter, counting, face to face.
I’ll grant thee random access
to my heart,
Thou’lt tell me all the constants
of thy love;
And so we two shall all love’s lemmas
And in our bound partition
For what did Cauchy
know, or Christoffel
, or any Boole
Wielding their compasses, their pens and rulers,
Of thy supernal
Cancel me not – for what then shall remain?
, modules, modes,
A root or two, a torus
and a node:
The inverse of my verse, a null domain
Ellipse of bliss, converge, O lips divine!
The product of our scalars
Cyberiad draws nigh, and the skew mind
Cuts capers like a happy haversine
I see the eigenvalue
in thine eye,
I hear the tender tensor
in thy sigh.
would have been content to die,
Had he but known such a2 cos 2ψ!