*Washington Post*brought to my mind this poem of hers:

## Tuesday, May 31, 2011

### Fear of math

California poet Carol Dorf is a high school math teacher (and has taught in a science museum) -- and images from math and science permeate her work. An article on math anxiety (and its connections to the brain) in today's

Labels:
Carol Dorf,
fear,
hexagons,
math anxiety,
mathematicians,
mathematics,
poem,
poetry,
tesselate

## Monday, May 30, 2011

## Friday, May 27, 2011

### The Bridges of Konigsberg

From the August 1997 issue of

*The Mathematical Intelligencer*, we have this poem by Judith Saunders about a long-standing puzzle solved solved by the mathematical giant, Leonhard Euler (1707-1783).## Wednesday, May 25, 2011

### Hikmet -- painting with numbers

**Living is no laughing matter . . .**

These are words of Turkish poet, playwright, novelist and memoirist Nazim Hikmet (1902-63), who spent much of his life in prison or exile for his political beliefs. In the following poem by Hikmet we see a portrait that builds from the numbers that characterize the landscape of Ibrahim Balaban's painting. As you read Hikmet's poem, consider the value of numbers in portraiture. Though they do not have the textures of color nor the movement of lines, numbers have shapes and edges that may much enrich our seeing.

Labels:
Ibrahim Balaban,
June Jordan,
mathematics,
Mutlu Konuk,
Nazim Hikmet,
number,
painting,
poetry,
Randy Blasing,
Turkey

## Sunday, May 22, 2011

## Thursday, May 19, 2011

### Personal geometry

We have recently passed the first anniversary of the death (6 May 2010) of Elena Shvarts, one of Russia's finest contemporary poets. Here is her "Poetica -- More Geometrico" (translated into English by Thomas Epstein).

Labels:
Elena Shvarts,
geometry,
mathematics,
obtuse,
parallel,
poem,
poetry,
Thomas Epstein

## Tuesday, May 17, 2011

### Poems with permutations

Below, in the May 16 posting, this blog considered all of the permutations of a few words -- in search of "the best" arrangement. Today we illustrate word-permutations in poems.

First, a few lines from poet Gertrude Stein (1874-1946) -- who was masterful in her distortions of ordinary syntax and in her use of language in new ways. Stein played with both repetition and rearrangement; here is a brief example:

Money is what words are.

Words are what money is.

Is money what words are.

Are words what money is.

First, a few lines from poet Gertrude Stein (1874-1946) -- who was masterful in her distortions of ordinary syntax and in her use of language in new ways. Stein played with both repetition and rearrangement; here is a brief example:

Money is what words are.

Words are what money is.

Is money what words are.

Are words what money is.

Labels:
Brion Gysin,
Gertrude Stein,
permutation,
poem,
poetry

## Monday, May 16, 2011

### Which is the BEST order?

At Bartleby.com, we find a quote from Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) which says, in part " ... poetry—the best words in their best order."

Consider the two orderings of the words "were" and "we." (To choose which is best is not possible until we know more of what the writer wishes to say.)

We were!

Were we?

Consider the two orderings of the words "were" and "we." (To choose which is best is not possible until we know more of what the writer wishes to say.)

We were!

Were we?

Labels:
mathematics,
Oulipo,
permutation,
permutation-generator,
poem,
poetry,
sum

## Friday, May 13, 2011

### Would rationalists wear sombreros?

This final section of "Six Significant Landscapes," by attorney and insurance executive (and poet) Wallace Stevens (1879-1955), playfully explores the limitations of rigid thinking.

Labels:
ellipse,
mathematics,
poetry,
prose poem,
rationalists,
rhomboid,
right-angled triangle,
square,
Wallace Stevens

## Wednesday, May 11, 2011

### If p, then q.

Today's posting (as also on April 13) presents variations of the

*statment -- a sentence of the form "If ___, then ___" in which mathematical theorems often are expressed. (For example, "If m is an odd integer, then m² is an odd integer.") More generally, a***conditional***conditional*is a statement of the form "If p, then q" -- where p and q denote statements. Poet E. C. Jarvis plays with the language of logical statements and with the idiomatic phrase "Mind your p's and q's" in his poem, "A Simple Proposition."
Labels:
conditional,
contrapositive,
DeMorgan,
E. C. Jarvis,
integer,
Isotope,
logic,
logical equivalence,
negation,
proposition

## Monday, May 9, 2011

### Poetry generators

Blogger edde addad had an undergraduate major in creative writing -- and later earned a PhD in computer science. He has written about and created poetry-generating programs. addad is one of the contributors to the blog

*Gnoetry Daily**--*which offers ongoing discussion and examples of collaborative human-computer poetry generation. Here is "Mystery" -- a poem generated by eGnoetry (assisted by addad!):## Friday, May 6, 2011

### Permuting words and and enumerating poems

Caleb Emmons teaches mathematics at Pacific University. Here is his very-clever description of the requirements for a poem to be a sestina -- spelled out in a poem that is itself a sestina. (A sestina has 39 lines and its form depends on 6 words -- arrangements of which are the end-words of 6 6-line stanzas; these same words also appear, 2 per line, in the final 3-line stanza.)

Labels:
Caleb Emmons,
enumerator,
mathematics,
poem,
poetry,
sestina,
square

## Wednesday, May 4, 2011

### A jar in Tennessee

Several of my early insights concerning the connections between poetry and mathematics grew from ideas presented by poet Jonathan Holden -- of whom interviewer Chris Ellis (in 2000) asked this question:

**Ellis**: You have drawn similarities between poetry and mathematics. Can you explain the association or similarity between poetry and math in a way the mathematically challenged can grasp?**H****olden**: The "poetry and mathematics" analogy was simply to demonstrate, for those with some mathematical sophistication, that both languages "measure" things.
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