Alan Turing 1912-1954

“Sometimes it is the people no one can imagine anything of who do the things no one can imagine" Alan Turing

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Mathematician, logician, philosopher, computer scientist, theoretical biologist, crypanalyst

This father of AI, most of whose work was covered by The Official Secrets Act,

Was denied recognition until 2009 becaise he admitted making love to a man

And was then chemically castrated by the British state.


Truth is hard to find – the years ahead, the years behind,

Yet find it we do – in snatches – on days that go by:

On days when nothing is decided, on throw-away days such as these

Farmyard smells, christmas bells, and all the frumpery of lawns.


Children connect me to the truth: tooth faeries’

Dreams, golden times,

I was caught loving, again,

And then all my world was at an end.


What now eludes me

Metaphors are not fit to give it shape

Neither are the big words

That frighten me so.


The whole edifice


In all its contrary implications

In all its disgraces

And in all its lies.


Alan Turing committed suicide by cyanide in 1954.

He was 42 years old. 

◄ A wise fool

Impermanent things ►


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John Marks

Thu 29th Aug 2019 06:53

My pleasure Keith and thank you Don. It is the waste of such prodigious talent that is so tragic. Pure bigotry ruined his life and denied us all that AT would have contributed in the latter part of his life. He was an adopted son of Manchester, my city, and I share, in a very minor way, his fascination with Mathematics. He was a polymath, a true Renaissance man.

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Don Matthews

Thu 29th Aug 2019 00:06

I hate stigma, ignorance and all that goes with it. I applaud those with the courage to stand up and 'come out' and all that goes with it. Times are a changing but we still have a long way to go.

Thankyou John for raising this issue. And Keith, as one of us 'come outers', although for different reasons.

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keith jeffries

Wed 28th Aug 2019 23:06


As a gay man I salute this poem in that it shows that within the lifetime of many, including myself, this nation acted with barbarity. Hitler gave us pink triangles and sent 100,000 of us to concentration Camps as the British chemically castrated us or sent us to prison.

Well done and thank you

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