“Calculus in Pen”


Jessica Henson, '20

It began with words,

Intimidating, but decreasingly

As the words melded into equations and numbers.


The perimeter arises,

Known is the total,

And known is the relationship between sides x and y.


Next emerges the area.

While the numerical value is not known,

Clear is the relation to x and y.


Flowing together like two rivers joining,

Then simplifying, simplifying, simplifying

Until all that is left is a single-variable area equation.


Once derived,

It is clear the changes in Area;

It is clear how x inspires Area.


Back to the unnerving words,

Identifying the goal 

In order to finish this work of art. 


The Maximum Area,

That is who we’re after,

The Wizard of Oz of our mathematical brick road.


Just as the world had stopped affecting the Great Wizard,

At the maximum, x no longer changing Area.

Set to zero, x can be understood.


Simplifying, manipulating, shaping

Until x is raw and exposed and used,

Used to treat y the same.


Multiplying x and y,

Just as a river shifts into an azure, motionless lake

The mathematical fluidity grew into a perfect answer.


The words have unraveled,

Below lays a mathematical beauty

In all its glory, Calculus, shining in black ink