Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Poetry in Math Journals

         The Mathematical Intelligencer (publisher of the poem by Gizem Karaali given below) and the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics (an online, open-access journal edited by Mark Huber and Gizem Karaali) are periodicals that include math-related poetry in each issue.  For example, in the most recent issue of JHM, we have these titles:

     Joining the mathematician's delirium to the poet's logic'': Mathematical Literature and Literary Mathematics     by Rita Capezzi and Christine Kinsey
     How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways for Syllabic Variation in Certain Poetic Forms     by Mike Pinter

     Computational Compulsions     by Martin Cohen
     Jeffery's Equation     by Sandra J. Stein
     The Math of Achilles     by Geoffrey A. Landis

And here, from Gizem Karaali, is a poetic view of the process of mathematical discovery:  the blank white page, the muddy flow of thoughts, the clarity that eventually (sometimes) blooms:

The Colors of Math       by Gizem Karaali

White in the beginning --
       color of the empty page

foreign symbols
scribbled frantic illegible
       ants scurrying about on snow

               I       Blue blaring screen a blinking cursor . . .

A mild early spring breeze --
                a cold

sniffling red nose
blood on your manuscript
red like anger red like hate
---Would you like some carrot cake?

damn coffee!
           burn your fingers stain your notepad

                it HAS to get muddy and brown before it blooms

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