Thursday, September 19, 2013

BRIDGES poems, from 17 poets

Due to the hard work of mathematician-poet Sarah Glaz, poetry has been an important part of recent BRIDGES-Math-Art Conferences. And, under her editing, a Bridges 2013 Poetry Anthology has been released, featuring poetry from these poets who participated in one or more of the three most recent BRIDGES conferences (Enschede, Netherlands, 2013; Towson, Maryland, 2012; Coimbra, Portugal, 2011). 

          Michael Bartholomew-Biggs
               Tatiana Bonch-Osmolovskaya
                             Marion Deutsche Cohen
                                                      Carol Dorf
                   Francisco José Craveiro de Carvalho
                                     Saeed Ghahramani
                       Sarah Glaz
           Emily Grosholz
                   JoAnne Growney
                             Philip Holmes
                                      Geof Huth
                                           Alice Major
                                                 Kaz Maslanka
                                        Deanna Nikaido
                                  Eveline Pye
                Stephanie Strickland

          Amy Uyematsu

A Table of Contents for the BRIDGES anthology is available here.  Also, I include below several poem-fragments that I hope will spur your interest in the collection; each of these chosen selections is a passage that considers the infinite.

Here is the opening stanza of "Plotting Hours of Daylight" by Carol Dorf:

Already there’s a perceptible change of light and darkness, the rush of time that speeds up around the equinox — and one doesn’t feel quite ready for the change. That’s how we always imagine infinite, as though we believe the proof that maps all the real numbers into the space between zero and one.

These lines are from the first stanza of "Reflections on the Transfinite" by Emily Grosholz:

     The natural numbers, those deceptively well
     Ordered, step-wise creatures, which appear
     Transparent as they mount, but all in all
     Among themselves are most unknowable.

Alice Major's poem, "Zeno's Paradox," opens with these lines:

     We've solved the paradox.
     Motion is possible. The arrow's flight ends
     even if its fractions interlock
     to infinity – half a distance, yet again
     half, and half .… We know this series sums
     to a finite thunk and shudder. 

Statistician Eveline Pye closes her poem, "Numerical Landscape," with this:

           . . . .. On my path,

     a decision tree, so many branches spring
     from its trunk, so many choices. Statistics
     feels like poetry ― endless searching,
     never-ending uncertainty.

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