Grooks, the need of the hour!

Piet Hein, the Great!I was lucky to stumble upon the works of Piet Hein (1905-1996), a Danish polymath (scientist, mathematician, inventor and author), who is known for his numerous original creations, including the super-ellipse (which solved the problem of Sergel’s Square – a traffic loop – in Stockholm) and super-egg, the Soma cube, many intricate mathematical games, and the short, epigrammatic poetical form that he named as “Grook” (gruk in Danish). He wrote thousands of Grooks that are brilliant pieces of wisdom and wit.

Here is one of them which is very terse and witty:-

The Road to Wisdom

The road to wisdom?

Well, it’s plain and simple to express:

and err
and err again
but less
and less
and less.

And look at this beauty:-


His party was the Brotherhood of Brothers,
and there were more of them than of the others.
That is, they constituted that minority
which formed the greater part of the majority.
Within the party, he was of the faction
that was supported by the greater fraction.
And in each group, within each group, he sought
the group that could command the most support.
The final group had finally elected
a triumvirate whom they all respected.
Now, of these three, two had final word,
because the two could overrule the third.
One of these two was relatively weak,
so one alone stood at the final peak.
He was: THE GREATER NUMBER of the pair
which formed the most part of the three that were
elected by the most of those whose boast
it was to represent the most of the most
of most of most of the entire state —
or of the most of it at any rate.
He never gave himself a moment’s slumber
but sought the welfare of the greater number.
And all people, everywhere they went,
knew to their cost exactly what it meant
to be dictated to by the majority.
But that meant nothing, — they were the minority.

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