Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The magic of mathematics (in art)

     Australian teacher and  poet Erica Jolly is convinced that breaking down the barriers that make silos of sciences and humanities subjects will promote better education systems and improve job prospects for students.  She brings mathematics into this engaging poem found in Holding Patterns, an online book of physics and engineering poems, part of the "Science Made Marvelous" project.

Sculpture at Questacon (Australia National Science and Technology Center)      
                                                                                by Erica Jolly
     It looks like magic --
     children are turning
     a great stone sphere
     this way and that
     smoothly, easily.  

     Girls and boys are
     moving this sunlit
     glistening ball
     floating above its base

     laughing, splashing

     delighting in their power
     to change the direction
     of this massive globe.

     But it is not magic --

     it is mathematics
     and imagination
     and water engineered
     to raise solid granite.

In her latest collection of verse, Making a Stand (Wakefield Press, 2015),  South Australian poet Jolly further explores connections between science and art, and also takes aim at injustice.

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