Children are taught
Not the beauty of Math
Nor its elegance
Just some jugglery
And conjuring tricks

If you can choose
A matching pair of socks
From five assorted socks
Of two different colours
In a drawer of a dark room
There is no earthly need
To make it
Seventy-five socks
Five colours
Three drawers
Two dark rooms

There is Poetry in Math
(And Math in Poetry)
But our children are trained
To learn
Both Poetry and Math
By rote

The one who figures out that
The difference between
3 squared and 2 squared is 3 + 2
Hey! Between 10 squared and 9 squared is 10 + 9
Wow! This pattern goes on forever
Is making a discovery for himself

When he is told
Oh, yes, that is a special case of
a squared minus b squared
You are throttling his enterprise
Killing his joie de maths

Instead of
Fearlessly exploring the jungle
On his own terms
The child is taught
To get from A to B
By the shortest route
Using Google maps

What a shame!

This poem first appeared on Sunder and Sonati’s blog, Anhad Ka Baaja. Read the original here

Sunder and Sonati have been living and growing a forest on a small piece of land in Thekambattu in rural Tamil Nadu for the last 20 years. You can read their blogs here and here

Featured image credit: Pixabay