Monday, August 8, 2011

Can a mathematician see red?

Held late in July, this year's 2011 Bridges (Math-Arts) Conference in Coimbra, Portugal included a poetry reading for which I'd been invited to read but was, at the last minute, unable to attend. (See also 26 July 2011). Poets Sarah Glaz and Emily Grosholz each, however, read favorite selections from my work.  Glaz read one of my square poems, "The Bear Cave" (see 19 June 2011) and Grosholz read the poem shown below, "Can a Mathematician See Red?"

    Can a Mathematician See Red?     by JoAnne Growney

     Consider the sphere —
     a hollow rounded surface
     whose outside points
     are the very same points
     insiders see.

     If red paint spills
     all over the outside,
     is the inside red?

     The mathematician says, No,
     the layer of paint
     forms a new sphere
     that is outside the outside
     and not a bit inside.

     A mathematician
     sees the world
     as she defines it.

     A poet
     sees red

"Can a Mathematician See Red?"  is found in my 2010 collection, Red Has No Reason (Plain View Press).

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