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Alumnus of the Artificial Intelligence Center
Poem from Jane Robinson on the occasion of her 85th birthday
A copy for the SRI gang, c/o Richard Waldinger
Looking backwards, I can see
twenty-one was the age for me.
I could cast my vote, I could buy my drink,
I could say whatever I chanced to think.
(They called me the neighborhood parlor pink.)
Problems were simply for solving
worth the candle the flame.
Around me the world was revolving
and all its tigers were tame.
So I thought to myself, "What a game!"
But forty-one brings a sense of doom.
Sure, I can vote. God help me, for whom?
I can think and drink, but it's risky to utter
words that might cost me my bread and butter.
(Even my brain is beginning to stutter.)
Problems resist resolving,
candles melt in flame,
the world I knew is dissolving,
and I find that tigers can maim.
At forty-one it's not the same damn game!
At eighty-five I've entered, I'm told,
my Golden Age. That translates to "old".
But fears for my future no longer daunt me;
guilt-bearing ghosts have ceased to haunt me.
(And those whom I love, love me too and want me.)
Insoluble problems? Outlast them.
Lacking candles, wait for the dawn.
Tigers? Walk carefully past them.
Don't stir them up; just move on
in this game never lost, never won.
Thu, Jun 12, 2003 JRobinson
The following are in reverse chronological order of publication.
Stuart M. Shieber, Stucky, Susan U., Uszkoreit, Hans and Robinson, Jane J. Formal Constraints On Metarules, Technical Note 283. AI Center, SRI International, 333 Ravenswood Ave., Menlo Park, CA 94025, Apr 1983. [PDF, Details]
Walker, Donald E., Paxton, William H., with Grosz, B., Hendrix, G. G., Robinson, A. E., Robinson J. J., and Slocum, J. Procedures for Integrating Knowledge in a Speech Understanding System, Technical Note 143. AI Center, SRI International, 333 Ravenswood Ave, Menlo Park, CA 94025, Mar 1977. [PDF, Details]