Today, we shall integrate by parts. Yesterday We integrated by substitution. And tomorrow We shall differentiate under the integral sign. But today, Today we shall integrate by parts. Buddleia In the park is demonstrating its effect on butterflies, And today we shall integrate by parts. This is the integral sign. And this here Is the hard part, which as you will see We can handle with this trick. And this is the easy part, Which in your case you think you have not got. Bronzed girls In bikinis are sprawled on the grass at their ease, Which in your case you have not got. This is a product of functions, which is differentiated With a simple formula. And please bear in mind That an integral sign is needed for every “dx”; this is an easy matter Understandable even by an engineer. The sunshine Glistens on butterflies and flowers, and the bodies of the girls, None of whom bears in mind an integral sign. And here is the gist of the idea. The point of this trick Is to do the easy part twice, and so to avoid Having to do the hard part at all. We call this Pretty damned clever. But out in the park Girls are doing the easy part over and over again, Avoiding the hard parts entirely. Avoiding the hard part entirely; it is perfectly easy If you bear in mind that an integral sign is needed for every “dx”, And the idea, and the formula, and some mathematical nous Which in your case you have not got; and the girls On the grass are doing the easy part over and over again, While today we shall integrate by parts.

*
Naming of Parts*. I did not realise until I
had finished this parody that *
Naming of Parts* is part of a sequence called *
Lessons of War*. There's an excellent
site where you can read the full text of it, and a hear a reading featuring
the poet himself.

I have to confess to a mathematical upbringing. "Integration by parts" is a standard technique in the calculus, which I think I learnt as part of the "A" level syllabus. Engineers and certain other species of infidel are quite happy for symbols like "dx" to float around on their own, but proper mathematicians are never comfortable unless there is an integral sign nearby (that long stretched "S" thing). If you don't know what I'm talking about and wish you did, have a quick look here.

© Bob Newman 2006. All rights reserved.

This page last updated 01/09/2006