Saturday, May 18, 2019

Seek . . . and Find

     This blog has more than a thousand posts -- and many have been discovered as the days passed and are not organized by topic.  To explore, simply scroll down and encounter a variety of math-poetic views.  If you visit this post for March 18, 2019 you will find a list of titles and links to all of the previous posts.  If you are seeking a post on a particular topic, perhaps you will want to use the SEARCH feature in the right column of the blog.  For example, if you enter "math women" you get this list of postings. The SEARCH entry term "imaginary" leads to these posts.   Enjoy!

Friday, May 17, 2019

Poetic roots -- square, cube, . . .

     In the 2008 film, "Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay, Kumar offers a poem, "Square Root of Three" -- a poem attributed to Dave Feinberg, and Feinberg has this to say about it:
          I wrote it during a high school biology class. A couple guys from my high school went on to write the Harold and Kumar movies, and they modified my poem for their movie. Originally, the poem began "I'm sure that I will never see a poem as lovely as root three," and it ended "when multiplied we stand up tall but when divided we will fall." I don't remember what else changed for the movie.
     In my email correspondence with Feinberg, he offered me a new poem to present here in my blog -- a sequel to the square root poem and a poem offered first here in his blog -- a poem about the CUBE root of three; enjoy:

       The Cube Root Of Three     by Dave Feinberg

       I take the cake, you must agree,
       for I'm a cube root of a three!
       There must be three of me to make
       a product you cannot mistake.   

Thursday, May 16, 2019

If 1718 is a poem title . . .

If 1718 is a poem title, 
the poem should celebrate Marie Gaetana Agnesi (1718-1799)
author of the first book about both differential and integral calculus.

This post celebrates not only Agnesi (who was born 301 years ago today) but also present-day mathematician and writer Evelyn Lamb who produces lively and informative articles about STEM topics and people.  Go here to read Lamb's article about Agnesi for the Smithsonian Magazine on May 16, 2018 -- celebrating Agnesi's 300th birthday.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

I'm tired of being a zero vector . ..

there are more       to figures       than ever meets       the eye

     Inexhaustible GOOGLE has led me to a website "The Best Philippine Short Stories" which contains not only stories but also artwork and poems.  Eileen Tupaz, now a central character in Quezon City's White Space Wellness Studio, has given me permission to include samples of her math poems first published by BPSS -- poems written in 2000 when she was a student at Ateneo de Manila University.
Poems by Eileen Tupaz
     we are all of us
     nonsingular creatures
     whose identities
     must be affirmed
     before our inverses
     can be found   

Monday, May 13, 2019

Dinner at a Math Conference . . .

     A strong advocates of humanistic mathematics -- supporting links between mathematics and the arts -- is Greg Coxson, both a poetry fan and a Research Engineer in the Department  Electrical and Computer Engineering at the US Naval Academy.  Greg has been, over the years of this blog, a valuable contributor of information about mathy poems and poets.  Recently Greg has turned his hand to some poetry of his own -- and he has sent me this:

Crawfish Dinner at a Computational Theory Conference 
by Greg Coxson
In this drama, the crawfish come off the best
   Offered by our host as a gift of local color,
They look up innocently from their pile,
   Radiant in their trim carmine carapaces.

Next, there are the computational theorists
   Many of them from a more formal continent
Some are my heroes I am seeing up-close now,
   Not from photos at the end of reference sections.   

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

What is TIME?

    Recently I have been reflecting on the capacity for multiple meanings -- a feature that strongly links mathematics and poetry; with this similarity in mind, I present a thought-provoking couplet, an epigram from one of my favorite poets, Rabindranath Tagore:

       'I have created the worlds,' proclaims Time.
       'And we have created you,' the clocks chime.

From Rabindranath Tagore: An Anthology, eds. Krishna Dutta, Andrew Robinson (Picador, 1997)

Monday, May 6, 2019

Celebrating math teachers

  This week (May 6-10) is 
  US Teacher Appreciation Week 2019  
  Celebrate your teachers with poems!  
This link leads to lots of previously-posted poems about math teachers.

Here is a sample (remembering my high school math teacher, Laura Church):

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

PLAY with math words . . . find a poem

A few days ago -- playing with math words -- I found this.

Here's a link to SEARCH results for this blog's presentations of "visual" poetry
and this link leads to information about the 
in Washington, DC this coming Saturday, May 4.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Al-gorithms . . . conform or suffer?

     Thanks to poet/mathematician Scott Williams who alerted me to this work by "a good poet and friend" Stephen Lewandowski, a retired conservation worker and author of 14 books (for example, One Foot) with another on the way.  Steve says this of his poem:  "SPELL" exists because I fear the misuse of algorithms to standardize people . . ."

A SPELL AGAINST AL-GORITHMS     by Stephen Lewandowski

Named for a man, Abu Ja-far Muhammed ibn Musa,
and the Persian city Khwarizma where he lived
in the year 800, pursuing calculations
arithmetical and al-gebraical.

Begins admirably as
“how to solve a class of problems” and
proceeds through disambiguation to specification by
massaging a mass of data.
If the data are people, then
the massage is called a “census.”  

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Zero plus anything is . . .

     Poet Jane Hirshfield is an award-winning poet, essayist and translator whose work and I admire and enjoy.  In her collections I have found a thoughtful share of poems with links to mathematics -- and links to my previous postings of her work may be found here.  The MATH theme collection at has led me to another of her poems and I offer its opening stanzas here:

     Zero Plus Anything Is a World      by Jane Hirshfield

     Four less one is three.

     Three less two is one.

     One less three
     is what, is who,

Monday, April 22, 2019

Poems in support of Earth Day

     These words come from an editorial by Eugene Robinson in the Washington Post in September of 2018.

          Public awareness
          and pressure are
          the best hope
          for effective

This link leads to postings -- and poems -- in this blog related to CLIMATE.
And here is a link to several previous EARTH DAY postings..

 fine source for lots more climate information is the Center for Mathematics and the Environment at the University of Exeter.   Another is -- which offers 350 poems of 3.5 lines each at this link; these poems came as part of a call for climate action for October 24, 2009.  Alas, it is ten years later and we have not answered the call.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Some of the Magic of THREE

The Universe in Verse -- an Earth-Day celebration of Science and Poetry
A NYC event on April 23 -- learn more here!

     In her brain-pickings website, Maria Popova offers myriad links between science and poetry -- and one of the poems she has, to my delight, reminded me of is "Renascence" by Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950).  Here is the first stanza:

 from    Renascence   by Edna St. Vincent Millay

          All I could see from where I stood
          Was three long mountains and a wood;
          I turned and looked another way,
          And saw three islands in a bay.
          So with my eyes I traced the line
          Of the horizon, thin and fine,
          Straight around till I was come
          Back to where I’d started from;
          And all I saw from where I stood
          Was three long mountains and a wood.
              . . .

Millay goes on to speak of flat and wide, of spheres and Infinity . . .. a story related to the poems is available here and the entire poem is found here at

Monday, April 15, 2019

If I had a million lives to live . . .

     This posting features Carl Sandburg's "Humdrum," a poem that reflects on "million."  (This poem and others by Sandburg may be found online at -- at this vast resource-site also is a collection of poems with math-themes.)  For me, Sandburg was the poet who introduced the idea that lines can be poetic without having rhyme.  (This link leads to several of my previous Sandburg-postings.)

       Humdrum     by  Carl Sandburg  (1878-1967)

       If I had a million lives to live
          and a million deaths to die
          in a million humdrum worlds,

       I’d like to change my name
          and have a new house number to go by   

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Poetry with NEGATIVE numbers

     In October of 2018, I was reminded of the significant achievements of poet and playwright, Ntozake Shange (1948-2018) as I read her obituary in the Washington Post.  Shange wrote with daring and with vivid imagery -- and often used numbers very effectively, as in this poem, "With No Immediate Cause."  I present its opening lines; the complete poem may be found here at

          With No Immediate Cause     by Ntozake Stange

          every 3 minutes a woman is beaten
          every five minutes a
          woman is raped/every ten minutes
          a lil girl is molested   

Monday, April 8, 2019

A Theorem in Limerick Form

     Going through a pile of saved clippings, I came across an article in the April 2014 issue of Math Horizons that involved humorous restating of mathematical theorems -- one of them, shown below, restated the Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic in limerick form.  Enjoy!

           Fundamental Theorem of a Limerick

          Any number you pick, I dare say,
          When factored in any old way,
          Results in some primes,
          Together with times,
          Unique up to order.  Hooray!

Entitled "Bovino-Weierstrass and Other Fractured Theorems," this article by Matt Koetz, Heather A. Lewis, and Mark McKinzie is found online here.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

The Kingdom of Mathematics

     When I was a mathematics professor at Pennsylvania's Bloomsburg University, one of the colleagues whom I much admired and enjoyed is Reza Noubary.  This mathematician-statistician also writes poetry -- and I have been lucky to have him share it with me.  Here, below, are four of his small poems, "Math Kingdom."

       Math Kingdom     by Reza Noubary

       Mathematics has its own kingdom
       The key to enter it is called wisdom

              Some fear mathematics for its complexity
              Others enjoy it for its truth and explicitly
              For me it is the beauty, elegance and simplicity
              For the world it is the usefulness and necessity     

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

"Science Friday" welcomes National Poetry Month

Last week, NPR's program "Science Friday" anticipated National Poetry Month and offered a list of poems with links to science.    One of these is "Algorhyme" by Radia Perlman -- 

                          a pioneer in computer science
                                 and while she worked
                                 her mind gave her a poem . . .

from   Algorhyme    by Radia Perlman

               I think that I shall never see
               A graph more lovely than a tree.
               A tree whose crucial property
               Is loop-free connectivity.
                    .  .  .

Perlman's complete poem is available here.  Another of the poetry suggestions made by Science Friday is "Planetarium" by Adrienne Rich -- a poem that honors astronomer Caroline Herschel (1750-1848) and posted here in this blog.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Celebrate Karen Uhlenbeck, Abel Prize winner

     Celebration is everywhere (including here in The New Yorker ) -- mathematician Karen Uhlenbeck has recently won the Abel prize for her revolutionary work: " . . . pioneering achievements in geometric partial differential equations, gauge theory and integrable systems, and for the fundamental impact of her work on analysis, geometry, and mathematical physics."
     Here (pulled from The New Yorker article also cited above) are some of Uhlenbeck's poetic words about women in mathematics:

       It's really hard for me to describe
          to people who are not somewhat near me in age
       what it was like for women then ... and it was only
          because of the women's movement and books like  

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Poetry-Mathematics--at Poets House--March 28

       Tomorrow evening, March 28, 7 PM at Poets House in NYC, Emily Grosholz, poet and philosopher of mathematics, will discuss her new book, Great Circles: The Transits of Mathematics and Poetry, (Springer, 2018).  Her book thoughtfully links the way poets use mathematical entities and mathematicians use poetic “figures of thought.”  To illustrate, here are the opening stanzas of Grozholz's poem "Holding Pattern" -- a villanelle that she offers in her consideration (Chapter 7) of periodicity and symmetry. 

from  Holding Pattern     by Emily Rolfe Grosholz

        We can't remember half of what we know. 
        They hug each other and then turn away.
        One thinks in silence, never let me go.

        The sky above the airport glints with snow
        That melts beneath the laws it must obey.
        We can't remember half of what we know.  
                 .  .  .

For the complete poem, go to Chapter 7 pages 115-116 of Great Circles or to Grosholz's collection, The Stars of Earth (Word Galaxy, 2017).

From a Greek Nobelist . . .

     Poet Odysseus Elytis (1911-1996) won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1979.  At some time I purchased a copy of The Collected Poems of Odysseus Elytis (translated by Jeffrey Carson and Nicos Sarris, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998) and recently, during a reorganization of my bookshelves, have picked it up again.  His poetry is not easy for me to read but I have been drawn to explore the collection, Marie Nephele, which Carson's introduction tells us was more than fifteen years in the writing.  It is "arranged in three sections of twice seven poems with an introductory and closing poem and two intermediary songs ... ."  Half of the poems are in the voice of a youthful Maria and half in the voice of the poet, "the Antiphonist."  
     Throughout his verse, Elytis is not shy about using mathematical terminology.  Some samples: 

From "The Song of Maria Nepele":


Monday, March 25, 2019

Give HER your support

                     In school, many
                     gifted math girls.
                     Later, so few
                     famed math women!

Thank you to Math Horizons (edited by Dave Richeson) for recent publication of "Give HER Your Support" -- a collection of syllable-square stanzas (one of which is given above) that focus on math-women.  Online access to the article is available here -- and this link leads to a PDF of the article that I have downloaded and made available from my website.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

How to Triumph Like a Girl -- Learn to Swagger!!!

     A recent article in the Washington Post cited the discrimination faced by women in economics.  In response, I can't resist offering Ada Limon's poem, "How to Triumph Like a Girl" -- its mathematical connections include a defiant spirit and two numbers.   Let us begin to win!

How to Triumph Like a Girl     by Ada Limón

I like the lady horses best,
how they make it all look easy,
like running 40 miles per hour
is as fun as taking a nap, or grass.
I like their lady horse swagger,
after winning. Ears up, girls, ears up! . . .

Read the rest here to

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

An Interview of/by a Mathy Poet

     University of Connecticut mathematician-poet Sarah Glaz has interviewed me on behalf of the Journal of Mathematics and the Arts.  The article Sarah wrote is now available online -- but the online version requires a costly subscription.  I offer instead this link to a pdf file of her "Artist Interview: JoAnne Growney."  The article gives some of my personal and mathematical history -- growing up on a farm, studying mathematics because of a scholarship, loving both poetry and math and eventually finding time to follow both interests and see their connections.  And it includes some poems. I invite you to follow this link and browse a bit!  
Thank you, Sarah!

Monday, March 11, 2019

Celebrate Pi-Day on 3.14

     If you are in the Washington, DC area you are cordially invited to a poetry-math program at The Writer's Center on Thursday evening, March 14, at 7 PM-- come and enjoy exploring connections between POETRY and PI.
This link leads to earlier posts in this blog that celebrate PI.
. . . And, when you can find time . . .
 Say a text, a smart statement, in Pilish! 

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Celebrate Math-Women with Poems!

March is Women's History Month!
March 8 is International Women's Day!
and here in this blog we celebrate math-women with poems!

Herein appear lots of poems featuring women in math and the SEARCH box in the right-column may help you find them. To find a list of useful search terms, scroll down the right-hand column.   For example, here is a link to a selection of poems found using the pair of search terms "women  equal."   AND, here are links to several poems to get you started:
poem by Brian McCabe about Sophie Germain;
poem by Eavan Boland about Grace Murray Hopper;    
poem by Carol Dorf about Ada Lovelace;
a poem of mine about Sofia Kovalevsky;
poem of mine about Emmy Noether.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Math in 17 Syllables

     Counting syllables is an aspect of poetry that often interests math-people.  -- and when Haiku are composed in English, these three-line poems mostly obey the 5-7-5 syllable counts.  Here is a sample from Melbourne mathematician Daniel Mathews.  Lots more of Mathews' Haiku are found here.

Maths haikus are hard
All the words are much too big
Like homeomorphic.

     During the years of this blog, lots of different entries have celebrated the mathy Haiku -- this link leads to the results of a blog-SEARCH using "Haiku." 

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Solving for X, Searching for LIFE

     In January of this year I had the pleasure of attending a poetry reading featuring Linda Pastan and Le Hinton -- Linda Pastan's mathy poem "Algebra" is posted here and a blog SEARCH using her name can find other gems.  Pennsylvania poet Le Hinton's poem, "Baseball," appears in a 2015 posting at this link and below I offer his "Solving for X."

Solving for X     by Le Hinton

Because your father was a teacher,
he set up a blackboard to teach you math.

You were four, almost five, learning the difference
between more and less.  How to add.  When to subtract.  How
to savor a piece of candy when you got an answer exactly right.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Stories of Black Mathematicians (event postponed)

     Dr. Scott Williams is a mathematician, poet, and artist blacksmith and, alas, illness will prevent him from being the featured speaker at the MAA Carriage House on Tuesday, February 26Rescheduling is planned!
     Most of Dr. Williams' career was spent as a research mathematician at the State University of New York (SUNY) in Buffalo. His interest in other black mathematicians led him to create the important website Mathematicians of the African Diaspora.”   One of my favorites of his poems ("The Nine-Sided Diamond,")  is dedicated to his mother -- who also was a mathematician.
     Dr. Williams' poem, "An 1883 Faery Tale" (about the construction of the Cantor set) recently appeared in the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics (January 2019 issue) and he has given me permission also to include it here: 

An 1883 Faery Tale     by Scott W. Williams

Once there was a king whose daughter was beautiful.
He loved her very deeply and he wished to have more.  

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

All Numbers are Interesting . . .

     For math poetry and math art and a host of enticements to love math if you don't already, I recommend a visit to Grant Sanderson's website 3blue1brown.   Here are the opening stanzas of one of his fascinating poems:

       Moser's Circle Problem

       Take two points on a circle,
       and draw a line straight through.
       The space that was encircled
       is divided into two.

       To these points add a third one,
       which gives us two more chords.
       The space through which these lines run
       has been fissured into four.
           . . .
And here is a link to "All Numbers are Interesting."

Monday, February 18, 2019

George Washington, cherry tree, lifespan . . .

     Today in the US we celebrate Presidents' Day -- including the birthday of George Washington (on February 22, 1732).  In the 1970s, telling stories to my young children, I became fascinated by the allegations that the story of George Washington's admission that he cut down a cherry tree was a story invented after our first President's death (in 1799).  (See The life of George Washington : with curious anecdotes, equally honourable to himself and exemplary to his young countrymen by M. L Weems).  Our lives are too short! -- expressed somewhat gloomily in the following life-counting stanza by Isaac Watts (1674-1748).

       OUR days, alas ! our mortal days,
          Are short and wretched too !
       " Evil and few !"  the Patriarch says,
          And well the Patriarch knew !
       'Tis but at best, a narrow bound,
         That Heaven allots to men ;
       And pains and sins run through the round,
          Of three-score years and ten !

Friday, February 15, 2019

Musical sounds of math words -- in a CENTO

  A cento is a literary work formed by assembling 
words or phrases from other writers.  

As a math-person, I love to hear the melodic rhythm of certain multi-syllabic mathematical terms.  And so I have looked at a list of dissertation-titles of twentieth century female mathematicians -- and I have chosen words from these titles that sounded lovely to me.  Here is my cento poem; read it ALOUD and enjoy the sounds.

"Celebrating Dissertations"     

 The math-women whose titles have been sampled here are:

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

If 2017 was a poem title . . .

     On my shelf is a 2018 anthology entitled Women of Resistance:  Poems for a New Feminism and, in its Table of Contents, I am particularly drawn to the title that includes a prime number:  "If 2017 was a poem title" by Mahogany L. Browne.  Here is a provocative stanza from that poem:

     A Math Problem
     If 1 woman got a 7 Mac 11
     & 2 heaters for the beemer
     How many Congress seats will NRA lose?
     How many votes will it take for a sexual predator
          to lift the White House off her feet?

For more by this poet, here is a link to Black Girl Magic:  a Poem by Mahogany L. Browne (Roaring Book Press, 2018).

Friday, February 8, 2019

Mathematics and Valentine's Day

     On February 12, 2011, this blog first offered poetry to celebrate Valentine's Day -- and there presented Hannah Stein's poem, "Loving a Mathematician."  Please follow this link and enjoy!
     A perfect way for math-fans to celebrate Valentine's Day is with some "poems of love and mathematics."   Many such poems have been collected in the anthology, Strange Attractors: Poems of Love and Mathematics (AK Peters/CRC Pres, 2008), edited by Sarah Glaz and me.  One of the classics included therein is as a long-loved sonnet by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)  -- here are its opening lines:       

     How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways.
     I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
     My soul can reach . . .

Make time to celebrate love and mathematics!   To find more verses SEARCH this blog using the term Valentine and scroll down through the variety of posts.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Speed flunking math . . . NO, NO!

     Found online . . . "Scab Maids on Speed" . . . reminding me once again the being bad at math continues to be a more popular position (especially for girls) than being good at it.  Here is the opening stanza of the poem by Maggie Estep (1963-2014), a leading lady of slam poetry -- and found at PoetrySoup.

     Scab Maids On Speed      by Maggie Estep

      My first job was when I was about 15.
      I had met
     a girl named Hope who became my best friend.
      Hope and I were flunking math
     class so we became speed freaks.
      This honed our algebra skills and we quickly
     became whiz kids.
      For about 5 minutes.
      Then, our brains started to fry
     and we were just teenage speed freaks.

     Then, we decided to to seek gainful employment. . . .

Not poetry, but one of the websites I enjoy is The Math Comic Strips -- a site I first discovered  a few months ago via this "Frank and Ernest" strip about making a difference.  Enjoy!

Monday, February 4, 2019

Quantum Lyrics -- Poems

     Quantum Lyrics (W.W.Norton, 2009) is the title of a poetry collection by A. Van Jordan in which the poet celebrates scientists -- including Feynman and Einstein -- and makes vivid use of mathematical and scientific terminology in his poems; here are samples from that collection:

from Richard P. Feynman Lecture:  Broken Symmetries
by A. Van Jordan
Symmetry walks between two worlds.  To the hands it tries to touch us from either side; to the feet it simply wants us not to stumble but to saunter. ...  We believe that love is equal to hate but nothing is perfectly symmetric. ...  Why, for example, does the earth orbit elliptically, as if these old hands had drawn the path, instead of following an elegant circle?   

Thursday, January 31, 2019

What can be proven . . .

     Two weeks ago poet Mary Oliver (1935-2019) died and her passing has caused me to turn again to her work. In "I Looked Up" -- from her 1994 collection, White Pine -- I have found and am reflecting on this line.

     What wretchedness, to believe only in what can be proven.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Mathy Limericks

     Many mathy poets enjoy the challenge of satisfying (or almost-satisfying) the prescribed rhythm and rhyme schemes for the five-line poem-form called a limerick.  Below are five limerick-creations from Kate Jones, poet and part of Kadon Enterprises, creator of a host of mathematical game puzzles. (AND this link leads to several earlier postings in this blog that also present verses in limerick form.)

     Limericks     by Kate Jones

     There once was an artist supreme
     Whose geometry had a rare scheme.
          Tessellations and creatures
          And impossible features. . .
     MC Escher created an infinite dream.   

Monday, January 28, 2019

2019 AMS Prize-Winning Math Poems

     Last fall the American Mathematical Society held a math-poetry contest for Maryland students and the winners were announced and celebrated in Baltimore last Saturday.  Two of the winners, Tina Xia and Brooke Johnston, have given me permission to offer their poems here!

Math is Me     by Brooke Johnston, Notre Dame Preparatory School

          Math can inspire.
          Math can inquire.
          Math does not require those who know
          but those who understand.
          Math is me.

A Love Letter to My X     by Tina Xia, Walt Whitman High School

To wonder is to dream, said one of the greats--
To meddle is to be irrational.  Love, like
Many things, is fickle and feckless. Ask mother:
She would agree.  And people will tell you to find
X until you die, but man, you need to move on.
I believe in the power of both math and love,     

Thursday, January 24, 2019

A Multi-Author Poem Celebrating Math-People

     At the Joint Mathematics Meetings in Baltimore last Friday evening, the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics (JHM) and SIGMAA-ARTS sponsored a poetry reading.  
Moderated  by Gizem Karaali, the pre-reregistered participants included
 Lawrence M. Lesser, Sarah Glaz, Ben Orlin, Rachel Levy, Luise Kappe,
Brooke C. Johnston, Douglas Norton, Claudia Gary, JoAnne Growney
In addition to poems by participants registered in advance, the event included a "crowd-sourced" poem.  Each person attending was invited to submit two lines of poetry about math-people -- and the pairs of lines were put together into a poem that I offer below.  MANY THANKS to these participants who gave us lines.
Order of contributors (2 lines each): David Reimann, Maru Colbert, Greg Coxson,
 David Flesner, Nancy Johnston, Kate Jones, Hunter Johnston, Debra Bordeau (4 lines), 
Luise Kappe (in German—with translation at end), Margaret Kepner, Thomas Atkinson,  
Brooke Johnston, Andrew Johnston, Ximena Catpillan, Bronna Butler, Courtney Hauf,
 JoAnne Growney, Doug Norton, Sean Owen, Eric Marland
Sending THANK-YOU to all of the authors, 
               I present below our poem, "We Love Mathematics."

We Love Mathematics

Mathematicians are meeting today—
ideas unfold in space, time, and hearts. 
   Math is the language of everyone
   Any part of everything began as a sum.   

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

"Math and Self" -- a visual poem

     One of the great pleasures of attending mathematics meetings in Baltimore last week was meeting old friends.  One of these, Gabriel Prajitura, a mathematician at SUNY Brockport, is also a poet and a person with whom I have worked on translation of poetry by Romanian poet Nichita Stanescu.  Gabi has shared with me "Math and Self," one of his visual poems: 
"Math and Self" by Gabriel Prajitura

Here is a link to several earlier postings in this blog featuring translations by Gabi and me of mathy poetry by Nichita Stanescu.

Monday, January 21, 2019

A poetry equation . . . .

     My recent attendance (January 16-19) at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in Baltimore has resulted in a pile of math-poetry items to sort and organize for offering here in my blog.  While that sorting happens, here is an idea to ponder -- found in a recent article about Brooklyn-based poet and teacher Taylor Mali -- this thoughtful quote:

"... a metaphor is an equation between two words.”

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

A Perfect Number

     One of the the things I love to find in a poem is the surprise of a double meaning -- especially involving a mathematical term such as "group" or "zero" or "identity."  The following poem of mine aims to offer that surprise -- as it celebrates actor-inventor Hedy Lamarr while playing with the meanings of "perfect."

Looking for Mathematics in Hedy Lamarr   by JoAnne Growney

All my six husbands married me for different reasons.
                               ---Hedy Lamarr

Perhaps Hedy Lamarr married so often because six
is a perfect number – the sum of all its proper
divisors, “proper” meaning “less than six,”
“divisor” meaning “a counting number
that divides and leaves
no remainder.”

After a perfect number of husbands, there is no
remainder. Six is the smallest perfect
number, the next is twenty-eight.
And twenty-eight
is too many

Today I head to the 2019 Joint Mathematics Meetings in Baltimore
including a Poetry Reading Friday, January 18, 7 PM
 -- hope to see you there!