Mother Hopper

by Lee A. Hart

You are old, mother Hopper, the young man said.
Your brain must be nothing but suet.
Yet you made that computer balance the books.
My gawd, how did you do it?

You're a girl, mother Hopper, the young man said,
And girls can't do science or math.
Yet it is said you do sums in your head,
In hex-a-ma-decimal at that.

You are weak, mother Hopper, the young man said.
Too small to enlist, plain to see.
Yet you get saluted by Admirals and all.
Pray tell, how can that be?

You are ill, mother Hopper, the young man said.
And may not have long to live.
But somehow you've won, and got mighty deeds done.
What final advice can you give?


Grace Hopper was an amazing woman. A pioneer in the development of computers, she indeed had 40 college degrees, and was an admiral in the US Navy. She is credited with documenting the first computer bug (a moth between two relay contacts). She was among the first to promote free and open software. She hung a pirate flag on her office wall. Look her up on wikipedia and prepare to be amazed! Here are a few of her quotes:

A poem by Lee A. Hart, © 1984-2019 by Lee A. Hart. Created 3/6/2012. Last updated 6/21/2019.
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