The Economics of Pythagoras’s Academy

by Lee Slonimsky

He finds geometry in woods so easily:
triangular tree crowns, branch-trapezoids,
trunk perpendiculars, bird trills in threes—

                         the soaring red-tailed hawks that lord
it over songbirds, specialize in arcs,
parabolas, ellipses.  How hawks trace
the formulae he teaches, dawn to dark.

He might as well move to this math-filled place,
continue his academy for free;
use birds as tutors, trees to diagram;
expand beyond the high nobility
to all Crotone’s pupils.  Crises loom
if so few study nature, science, math.

 Abundant learning, on this wooded path.