*The Scottish Cafe*(Slapering Hole Press, 2002) -- celebrates the lives and minds of a group of mathematicians in Poland during World War II. The observations and insights of Case's poems add new dimension to the important story of

*The Scottish Book*-- a book in which the mathematicians recorded problems and their solutions.

First published in a mimeographed edition in 1957 by Stanislaw Ulam,

*The Scottish book: mathematics from the Scottish Café (*Birkhäuser, 1981) may now be seen and searched at GoogleBooks and the full text of the preface is available here ; it was sent by mathematician Stanislaw Ulam (1909-1984) -- who discovered how to initiate the fusion process for the hydrogen bonb -- from Los Alamos to mathematics professor Edward Copson (1901-1980) in Edinburgh in January, 1958.

*The Scottish Book*is a vivid record of mathematicians at work together. Here, from

*The Scottish Cafe*, is "Fusion" -- in which Ulam looks back from the US to Lvov, Poland.

**Fusion**by Susan H Case

*there was too much of Lvov, and now*

*there isn't any. . . .*

--Adam Zagajewski

Ulam in America

is homesick

Colorado doesn't have winters

as marvelously brutal as Lvov

he misses arguing with the other mathematicians

over whether the Scottish or Roma Café

has better bread

besides ever since he taught in LA

there is a glitch in the wiring of his brain

a change not only in weather

but personality

*I do the big ideas now*

he tells his students

*the details are for others*

but he can't help spouting his jokes

stories limericks

mixed with the grand ideas

compression from shock waves from fission

essential to explosion

nuclear propulsion

his friends think he behaves a little oddly

but no one is allowed to talk about it

or the dilemma

of having to carry everything

including his lemmas and formulas

in his head

not writing them down

his mind too fast for his hands

maybe it's an eye problem

his wife pleads for him to get glasses

and eventually he does but still avoids paper

after all -- what could be larger

than Teller and the thermonuclear bomb

but mostly he wears the glasses

to watch snow fall as he stands wistful

at the kitchen window

where he likes the way the snow settles

in the crooks of the aspen trees

in his sleeping backyard

remembering the time before the deportations

the chestnut trees of Lvov

To gain a full sense of the spirit of the Lvov problem-solving collaborations, one needs to acquire Case's

*The Scottish Cafe*-- or, indeed,

*The Scottish Book*. Two previous postings from on this material were made on 5 July 2011 and 5 August 2011.

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