OK, this is for the geeks among us. In fact, it is geeky on many different levels. It merits explanation in advance.
Last night, I was working on a game I’ve been messing with. It’s circular, so there’s a lot of Sin(a) and Cos(a) and incrementing arcs and stuff. I was up until 4am, in fact, and needless to say, when you do that you end up with dreams. Mix into this the fact that at the Cub Scouts this past week, the demo was of optics, and we saw white light broken into the spectrum, and the wavelengths of the colors identified (and blue is damn close to 440 nanometers, and the note A is of course at 440 as well), an article I read a year ago about how the vibration frequency of the universe is the note A, how the composer Schumann (who went insane because of syphilis and mercury poisoning) was driven mad by hearing the note A… well, soon you end up with a poem that mooshes it all together.
Then, to top it all off, I wrote it in blank verse: iambic pentameter, with seven-line stanzas, and one extra coda line (alas, not 440 syllables — 290). The stanzas arose organically, but each verse really hated being in lines — words broken across lines, etc, like strands that shouldn’t be interrupted. So then I re-broke the lines to be in a sine wave. Because I could. They seemed to want to fall that way. Eerie, huh? 🙂
So finally, you’re left with a poem about, well, making games. And one I am tempted to annotate with Wikipedia links…
Ode to Code: A Geek Poem
The twine of sine
and cosine, twang of tangents,
tangles of angles and twirls of tris,
the way each curve is wavelength,
like a sound is wavelength, light is
wavelength. A four forty’s tone
is blue, its hertz a wiggle,
wobble, flow from
high to low, a
the shade of skies.
Perhaps by this was Schumann
driven mad; the way the math invades,
pervades, like A four forty in his ear
for years: a cosmic radio of audio
uncaused by any known thing.
Oh, the song was blue,
but blues were
Or always did.
Or thought he always did.
The azimuth, horizon, incidence;
The cadence, coda, recapitulation.
These are all the whirlwind tang of life:
From helices in mitochondria to lacy
fractal leaves to strings vibrating
quarks, and time we see
have the arc
of it, the seconds. Mark.
And now, we twist our code
in loops, recurse in tighter spirals, flow
through chains of consequence — input
output GIGO FILO — at play with toys
that mimic magic, reify and
retro-fy, a Bezier here,
of bosses, twirl
Of blues, a count of lives, all binary.
Signs, sines, sprites, twines, tangents, tunes, time. In rhyme.
– Jan 14, 2007