"A mathematician’s lament," a villanelle

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Conway’s Game of Life
Reflect, examine, as though we were fish

behind a glass wall for all to observe,

to think, to ruminate on why we exist.


For feeling, for living in pure isolation,

encounter life’s form would leave us unnerved,

and beauty we choose for pure decoration.


Sublime, surrender to logic of bliss,

of wonder and meaning through beautiful curves,

to think, to ruminate on why we exist.


Through reason, through research, of stark innovation,

the value and function the numbers deserve,

and beauty we choose for pure decoration.


And look to the future, we cast every wish,

as nets onto space be it heedless or reserved,

to think, to ruminate on why we exist.


“Q. E. D.” ends each derivation,

we venture through darkness with nuance and nerve.

Reflect, examine, as though we were fish

to think, to ruminate on why we exist.

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