Monday, March 23, 2009

Preparing for Ada Lovelace Day

A few years back, I wrote the following poem on April 19, the anniversary of the death of Lord Byron, the father of Ada Lovelace, whom I will honor with a post tomorrow. I just felt a little bit like warming up.

Byron and the Romance of Computer Programming

I think of him dying
all those years ago in Missolonghi,
patriot of a nation
not his own.
Today, he'd be a pop
star, pursued by paparazzi
(like another one from another
through England to Geneva
and the sparkling white
islands of his demise.
He gave the world
much more than a name
for brooding arrogance,
a cynicism so eternal
it's still post-modern
after all this time.
I think of little Ada,
barely eight and already
eerily attuned to the complex
elegance of numbers,
fatherless and hungry for the metaphors
that make a poetry of science.

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