Sunday, May 3, 2015

Lines of breathless length

Brief reflections on definitions of LINE . . .

          Breathless length     by JoAnne Growney

          A LINE, said Euclid, lies evenly
          with the points on itself
          that is, it’s straight –-
          and Euclid did (as do my friends)
          named points as its two ends.

          The LINE of modern geometry

          escapes these limits
          and stretches to infinity.
          Just as unbounded lines
          of poetry.

My title misquotes Euclid’s definition “A line is breadthless length.”   In modern mathematics Euclid's line now is termed a segment and the line is infinite in length -- and typically defined by an equation.  For example, see WolframMathWorld.
     Visit the posting for September 12, 2012 in which Martha Collins plays with multiple meanings in her poem "Lines." Another poem to enjoy is this fun and longish piece that travels to the 4th dimension --  "Notes for Further Research" by Molly Kirschner -- found in a Facebook posting to which I was directed by my Bloomsburg friend, Laurie McCants.

1 comment:

  1. Can we connect other linear ideas? What would it mean for poems to be parallel or perpendicular?