Naming of Parts, by Henry Reed

One poem that I particularly like (and have hanging outside the door of my lab) is “Naming of Parts” by Henry Reed; it contrasts a lesson in military weaoons with a flowering plant.
My classroom looks out on a flower garden and I often think of this poem as I spot another student gazing wistfully out the window as I waffle on about the finer points of electromagnetic induction.

Naming of Parts

Today we have naming of parts. Yesterday,
We had daily cleaning. And tomorrow morning,
We shall have what to do after firing. But today,
Today we have naming of parts. Japonica
Glistens like coral in all of the neighboring gardens,
And today we have naming of parts.

This is the lower sling swivel. And this
Is the upper sling swivel, whose use you will see,
When you are given your slings. And this is the piling swivel,
Which in your case you have not got. The branches
Hold in the gardens their silent, eloquent gestures,
Which in our case we have not got.

This is the safety-catch, which is always released
With an easy flick of the thumb. And please do not let me
See anyone using his finger. You can do it quite easy
If you have any strength in your thumb. The blossoms
Are fragile and motionless, never letting anyone see
Any of them using their finger.

And this you can see is the bolt. The purpose of this
Is to open the breech, as you see. We can slide it
Rapidly backwards and forwards: we call this
Easing the spring. And rapidly backwards and forwards
The early bees are assaulting and fumbling the flowers
They call it easing the Spring.

They call it easing the Spring: it is perfectly easy
If you have any strength in your thumb: like the bolt,
And the breech, and the cocking-piece, and the point of balance,
Which in our case we have not got; and the almond-blossom
Silent in all of the gardens and the bees going backwards and forwards,
For today we have naming of parts.

I posted this on a Physics teachers’ forum a number of years back and one reader was so impressed by the poem that she immediately adapted it to her own lesson. I obviously wasn’t the only admirer of her work – the adapted poem appeared in the journal “Physics Education” shortly afterwards. I haved included it here with the kind permission of the author.

Induced emf

Phoebe Wales

To-day we have induced emf. Yesterday,
We had motor effect. And to-morrow morning,
We shall have eddy current braking. But to-day,
To-day we have induced emf. Japonica
Glistens like coral in all of the neighbouring gardens,
And to-day we induced emf.

This is the flux density. And this
Is the flux, whose use you will see,
When you differentiate it with respect to time. And this is the cosine of the angle,
Which in your case you don’t need to do. The branches
Hold in the gardens their silent, eloquent gestures,
Which in your case you don’t need to do.

This is Lenz’s law, which is just an addition
To what Faraday had already said. And please do not let me see
Anyone using the wrong units. You can derive them quite easily
from SI units. The blossoms
Are fragile and motionless, never letting anyone see them
Using the wrong units.

And this you can see is how quickly flux changes. The purpose of this
Is to calculate the emf. We can apply it
To an isolated wire: this creates
A pd between terminals. And rapidly backwards and forwards
The early bees are assaulting and fumbling the flowers:
A pd between terminals.

They call it Fleming’s right hand rule: it is perfectly easy
If you have any spatial awareness: take your right thumb,
And first finger, and second finger, and the directions they point,
Clearly give you the answer; and the almond-blossom
Silent in all of the gardens and the bees going backwards and forwards,
For to-day we have induced emf.

Advertisements

One comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s