**Which Girl Am I?**by JoAnne Growney

The girl who’s not forced to divide

into the good girl and the real one

is a lucky one. I was
eleven

when I felt a crack begin.

Last Monday included a visit with old friends of whom I see too little, Silver Spring artist Mark Behme -- with whom I did some art-poetry collaboration a few years back -- and Chevy Chase artist-writer-economist-activist, Kyi May Kaung. After lunch at nearby Mandalay we three walked to Mark's studio and hung out for a while, admiring and talking about his new work. When I arrived home, I dug out several poems developed from Mark's sculpture -- finding some pieces I'd not thought about for a while. Here is one of these, a mathy poem that partners with Mark's "Split Tales."

** Which Girl Am I? **by JoAnne Growney

The girl who’s not forced to divide

into the good girl and the real one

is a lucky one. I was
eleven

when I felt a crack begin.

Labels:
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Last Thursday evening I was honored to read in Takoma Park's Third Thursday poetry series -- along with poets Judy Neri and Kathleen O'Toole -- and my reading focused on poems of my times in Alaska. The brilliant geometry of our 49th state affected me strongly and "Angles of Light" became the title poem for a chapbook I published with Finishing Line Press in 2009. Here is section 3 (of 7) from that poem.

Wow! From first sighting, I have loved this description:

I prove a theorem and the house expands:

the windows jerk free to hover near the ceiling,

the ceiling floats away with a sigh.

These lines from "Geometry" by Rita Dove express -- as well as any string of twenty-four words I can think of -- the excitement experienced from proving a theorem.

I prove a theorem and the house expands:

the windows jerk free to hover near the ceiling,

the ceiling floats away with a sigh.

These lines from "Geometry" by Rita Dove express -- as well as any string of twenty-four words I can think of -- the excitement experienced from proving a theorem.

Labels:
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In mathematics, it is not unusual to define an entity using a recurrence relation.

For example, in defining powers of a positive integer:

The 2nd power of 7 may be defined as 7 x 7^{1} ;

the 3rd power of 7 may be defined as 7 times 7^{2},

and the 4th power is 7 times 7^{3},

and, in general, for any positive integer n, 7^{n+1 } = 7 x 7^{n}.

Several weeks ago I attended a reading of fine poetry here in Silver Spring at the Nora School -- a reading that featured DC-area poets Judith Bowles, Luther Jett, and David McAleavey. I was delighted to hear in "Recessional" -- one of the poems presented that evening by Jett -- the mathematical pattern of recurrence, building stepwise with a potentially infinite number of steps (as with the powers of 7, above) into a powerful poem. I include it below:

For example, in defining powers of a positive integer:

The 2nd power of 7 may be defined as 7 x 7

the 3rd power of 7 may be defined as 7 times 7

and the 4th power is 7 times 7

and, in general, for any positive integer n, 7

Several weeks ago I attended a reading of fine poetry here in Silver Spring at the Nora School -- a reading that featured DC-area poets Judith Bowles, Luther Jett, and David McAleavey. I was delighted to hear in "Recessional" -- one of the poems presented that evening by Jett -- the mathematical pattern of recurrence, building stepwise with a potentially infinite number of steps (as with the powers of 7, above) into a powerful poem. I include it below:

Labels:
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Luther Jett,
Nora School,
poetry reading,
recurrence

Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956) was a poet, but I have not found mathematics in his poems. Still, I want to note here a fantastic performance of his play, *Mother Courage and her Childre*n, starring Kathleen Turner and a talented ensemble at Washington,DC's Arena Stage. Invited by my neighbors, Mitzi and Pati, I joined them yesterday for a riveting performance. Here is a link to "How Fortunate the Man with None," a Brecht poem heartily sung as "Solomon's Song" in the current musical production.

And here, with a nod to the mathematical bent of this blog, is a quote from Brecht's*Mother Courage* that involves counting; also, it is one of many examples of a strategy that Brecht uses often and well -- encouraging an idea by speaking of its opposite.

And here, with a nod to the mathematical bent of this blog, is a quote from Brecht's

Labels:
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While looking for Valentine verse with a math connection, I opened my copy of *The Complete Illustrated Works of Lewis Carroll* (Chancellor Press, 1982). And found this one in which Carroll (a pen name for English mathematician Charles Lutwidge Dodson (1832-1898)) uses the word *one* twice and the word *half* twice and has counted sounds so that in each line the number of syllables is either *a cube of an integer* or is *perfect*.

** Lesson in Latin** by Lewis Carroll (May 1888)

Labels:
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Valentine

Poet extraordinaire Maxine Kumin (1925-2014) died yesterday.

Late in 2007, AKPeters released
Several previous postings have offered love poems of mathematics and mathematicians;

these include 9 February 2013, 12 February 2012, 12 February 2011, 10 November 2011,

Sometimes numbers become labels for particular events. When I was growing up, all of us knew *1492* as a label for the discovery of America. And *1941* recognized Pearl Harbor. The following selection from a poem by Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai (1924-2000) reminds us of the awful importance of *6 million*.

While mentioning this poem of witness and remembering, I want also to remind you of the very special**Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation & Witness**, to held in Washington, DC, March
27-30, 2014. (Early-bird registration ends on Valentine's Day, February
14th at midnight.) Hope to see you there.

While mentioning this poem of witness and remembering, I want also to remind you of the very special

is that other world

in which no schedules sit

and no ambitions flare

to interrupt the bluest sky

and whitest field

and coldest air

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