Written by Barry Bernstein, 1963

The sensor tramps across the page,
and fields if functions stage by stage
Inform the reader in the know
Of how the stress affects the flow.
No cone or plate need shear a goo
To find the law of nature true,
But all is known to those who think
And nothing flows but printers' ink.
For by the rules of logic rheol,
To which the erudite appeal,
By word and wit and cogitation
Come true and trusty revelation.
You need not stir a can of paint
To find what is or see what ain't.
Just follow through the mathematics
Of stress and flow and creep and statics.
Yet stay before you open the books,
It's not so easy as it looks.
No spring, no dashpot leads you on
No molecules to lean upon.
Just tensors, field, and energies,
Just talk and inequalities
In utmost generality.
All else is but banality.
How many heads have spun and reeled
Confronted by a classic field?
How oft have students felt upset
By new, unheart-of alphabet?
The rational assured mechanic
May drive a simple soul to panic,
When concepts new and old are flung
Both here and there in Caesar's tongue.
But hold before you seek a tryst
To meet your psychoanalyst.
Just learn the ways of secret cults
To seek some new and grand results.
New terms you think to add and state
Your try your best to complicate,
And should a problem make you weary
You turn instead to newer theory.
And as you think you wield your pen
You write and publish, talk, and then
When all is done and seems perfections,
You print additions and corrections.