The Poetry of Calculation

Gematria maketh
the poetry
of calculation

In the code of Simple English Gematria (a = 1, b = 2, … y = 25, z = 26), every line of the above poem adds up the same number, 132. This is "the poetry of calculation," in which gematria equivalence (lines that add up to the same number when every letter is assigned a consistent value) replaces rhyme and meter as the basic structural principle.

Couplets are the simplest form of the poetry of calculation. In the following examples, both lines have the same S:E:G: value (137 and 666, respectively).

In the beginning
God created heaven.

Wisdom: Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast,
for it is the number of a man. Check his number: six hundred sixty-six.

Longer poems are more challenging. In the following one, every line adds up to 130.

A Two-K-Four
Come November,
the USA will
choose either
George W. Bush,
John F. Kerry,
or Ralph Nader
as president.

Not every line has to have the same value, just as not every line of a traditional poem has to rhyme with every other line. Here's a quatrain which, in addition to the gematria matches, rhymes:

Roses are red. (127)
Violets are blue. (166)
Sugar is cheap, (127)
and so, dear, are you. (166)

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