Our dream of safety has to disappear
The post title is from W. H. Auden’s Leap Before You Look — full text at this page.
Years ago it was pointed out to me that the rhyme scheme is
abab bbaa baab abba aabb baba
illustrating rather neatly that “4 choose 2 equals 6”. Note also that the last word of each stanza alternates between “leap” and “disappear”, and that there is a kind of “reflectional symmetry” in the order of the stanzas. Specifically, the transposition of a and b has the effect of reversing the order of the 6 4-tuples.
Hmm, maybe I should try this as an example if I get to teach a course introducing people to finite groups…