Friday, 13 October 2017

Tanka #8: Ada

I wrote this poem on Ada Lovelace day, which was the 10th October this year. I figured I'd find out more about Ada as all I really knew was that she was Lord Byron (the philandering poet)'s daughter, and one of the first computer programmers.

I have just dragged myself out of the rabbit warren of finding out about Ada. Why haven't I seen a film about her? Ada came from a seriously messed up family, and was pushed into mathematics and science by her mother (with the help of some brilliant tutors), who was desperate that she shouldn't inherit what she saw as her father's madness and moral depravity. I am using the word 'father' loosely here, he was more of a sperm donor really.

Go google Ada, she's fascinating.

Anyway, one of the things that Ada turned her attention to was flying. She really wanted to be able to fly, and looking at the way she lived, with her mother having her watched by her friends to look out for failing morals (Ada dubbed them the Furies), and with constant provision of tutors to help guide her away to science... Ada's mother even provided a tutor for Ada's own children, who was also supposed to provide Ada with 'moral instruction' (he tried to have an affair with Ada, she sacked him)... anyway, with so much to control her, and her mother pushing her into this male dominated world where anything other than iciness had her accused of moral failure, with all that, I'm not surprised she wanted to fly. 

She did lots of research into it, really good, painstaking research. Perhaps if she had lived longer and her mother hadn't, she could have flown.

Here's today's tanka.