Write a poem inspired by computing technology, the changes computer science has had on the world (good or bad), or might change it in the future. Here are some poems to inspire you:
An Ode To Technology
The island of Rhodes in Ancient Greece was a centre for mechanical engineering at the time, and the Greeks were great inventors. According to an Ode by Pindar the island was covered with automata (ancient versions of robots):
The animated figures stand
Adorning every public street
And seem to breathe in stone, or
move their marble feet
Great Fleas Have Lesser Fleas
This poem, about recursion, is by Victorian logician Augustus De Morgan famous for his laws of boolean logic also Maths tutor of Victorian computer scientist Ada Lovelace. He also made the idea of mathematical induction rigorous. It is the basis of how you prove recursive programs (and iterative ones) are correct.
Great fleas Have Lesser Fleas,
upon Their backs To Bite’em,
And Lesser Fleas Have Lesser fleas,
And So, Ad infinitum.
and Those great Fleas, Themselves, In turn
Have Greater Fleas To go On;
while Those Again have Greater still,
And greater Still, And So on.
Imagine the pandemic without computer science
This poem, written by Computer Scientists Muffy Calder & Quintin Cutts of the University of Glasgow, was inspired by the pandemic. Read it here: “Imagine the pandemic without computer science”
Love in the Age of Google
Brian Bilston, The Twitter Poet, has written a whole series of poems inspsired by computing technology. Read some of them such as “Love in the Age of Google” and “Alexa, What is there to know about love?” here
Avoid writing while (true) …
Here is my attempt at a programming poem
Always avoid writing while (true) …
lest your code gets you in a stew.
It can also become quite tedious,
Makes users want to fall under a bus
Avoid the pizza wheel of death
It gets your users in a mess
And whatever else you do
Always avoid writing while (true)
This poem in a style inspired by Private Eye’s fictional teenage poet E. J. Thribb. According to Wikipedia Thribb’s poems are memorials to deceased people (a threnoby or lament: a poem of mourning) and start “So. Farewell Then…”. The poems includes the catchphrase or key contribution of the dead person, have short lines, broken randomly. They generally do not rhyme and have no rhythm. They are more like a stream of consciousness and always have a signature that includes his age.
Edsger W Dijkstra
Then, Edsger W Dijkstra
You really were
A computing star.
“Goto is harmful”,
Programs need structure,
Goto makes code
Hard to read.
That was the problem.
but didn’t return.
Now you too
C. S. Forfun, Age 15 1/4