By Victor Howes
Euclid alone has looked on beauty bare.
—Edna St. Vincent Millay
Perhaps you fancied Euclid was some square
Who slept to dream of angle and diameter,
The type, who, when he ran across a fair
Maiden, began computing her parameter.
Perhaps you saw a pimply blear-eyed wonk
Whose midnight oil burned sensibly Euclidean,
A nerd, who never gave his horn a honk
To recognize a curvilinear Lydian.
But soft. The maidenís more than points and cones.
A ray of hope gleams on his far horizon.
His vision clears. He sees beyond her bones.
Euclid feasts full with geometric eyes on
Convex and concave, outline and extension,
Beauty, and omigod, what surface tension.
From Thoughts after Spenser by Victor Howes. Cambridge: Harvard Book Store, 2016. Copyright © Victor Howes.