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A Psychological Tip -- Piet Hein

Guest poem sent in by Seema Ramanarayanan
(Poem #1156) A Psychological Tip
 Whenever you're called on to make up your mind,
 and you're hampered by not having any,
 the best way to solve the dilemma, you'll find,
 is simply by spinning a penny.

 No - not so that chance shall decide the affair
 while you're passively standing there moping;
 but the moment the penny is up in the air,
 you suddenly know what you're hoping
-- Piet Hein
I had the hardest time deciding which of the Piet Hein poems to send in to
this list :). They're all absolutely WONDERFUL. He calls his poems "Grooks"
and apparently he wrote em in several languages!  I had read this poem years
ago and went back looking for it when a friend of mine responded to my last
guest poem ("The instruction manual") complaining that I never send him a
poem that can make its point without being 300 words long.

Piet Hein (1905-1996) was a Danish poet and scientist with wide ranging
interests. Millions of his countrymen knew him as Kumbel, the pen name he
used for his poetry. He was a genius with many different sides. In addition
to discovering the Soma cube, he created a new geometrical form, the
"super-ellipse", which is something in between the rectangle and the
ellipse. The form also came in a 3D version and was then called "the super
egg" or "the super-ellipsoide".  As an artist and constructor, Piet Hein in
the 50's and 60's gave form to beautiful pieces of furniture, and he
contributed to make "Scandinavian design" become an international
conception. Internationally he always tried building a bridge between the
"hard" technical and natural sciences and the "soft" humanistic subjects.

Here's the link to the website I copied the biography from and it also has
his other poems. Enjoy!!!

[broken link]


46 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Alan Kornheiser said...

I have seen this suggestion credited to Einstein...and if Hein was in fact a
Danish scientist, the connection is not improbable. It is certainly good


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I think that it is one of the best poem in the world, The Danes, however, understood its importance and soon it was found as graffiti all around the country., thanks for share the poem , excellent information!!22dd

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