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In summary, our literary discourse doubtless shows
A proof is more compelling when it's not in turgid prose.
That stolid style, sans joie de vivre, which causes us to grieve,
Removes the raison d'être that a student might perceive.

Paul Halmos said a theorem's proof should not just ditch the goods,
But engage the reader, as a walk within the woods--
Where the fundamental inspiration of a proof's revealed.
In a formal proof, the intuition's easily concealed.

Despite the Hilbert Program, Automath that might have been,
Proofs are done by humans, and not cranked out by machine.
Recall the prescient words of Maynard Keynes, who bluntly said
The prognosis ``in the long run'' is that we shall all be dead.

If proofs are artifacts of mathematical mankind,
A more human exegesis we'd prefer to leave behind.
If theory is our calling, let our students clearly hear it:
Since the beauty of our subject does reflect our human spirit.

To close, an open problem! Find a more profound venue
That reveals the jewels of theory, like chanting, rap, haiku,
And makes a proof resplendent--or perhaps, and better yet--
Ballet, a diorama, or atonal string quartet.

Harry Mairson
Thu Oct 9 11:06:29 EDT 1997