Sundar Sarukkai

Translating T. S. Eliot: The love song of A. Mathematician

Let us go then

x and y

When e is raised 

to the power of ?

Like an irrational

number squirming on a page

Let us go, through half-calculated sheets

the scratched out misdeeds

of restless symbols in psychedelic shapes

and unyielding operators with empty shells:

Sheets that crumble with no space to breathe

of meaning or feeling

To direct you to the expected answer…

Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”

Let us go when e is finally ?  

In the room the numbers come and go

chanting: m to the power of o.


For once – please 

Let me take a value that i can’t

For once

let me escape the unchanging operations

let me run where i want

Without always having to be proved

and quartered into q.e.d

Always brought back 

to be put behind the bars of =

Let me be, let me be

be even when i am odd

be curved when i am straight

be infinite when you call me finite

be a line not a lost point

For once

Let me dance to a tune that you don’t hear

To images that you don’t follow

Let me just be, just be

What i want to be

Let me be somebody whom i am not

Just for a laugh

How can i crack a joke

when 2 + 2 is always obstinately = 4?

But then two and two is

really twotwo

Or tootoo

Maybe tutu

That is, tut-u

Or perhaps tea u too?

No, thanks

I can now write a story

Or maybe crack a joke

of the time when 2 plussed 2


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