Thursday, October 15, 2015

Use a phone App to find mathy poems

A day late, Happy Birthday, E. E. Cummings 
(b 14 October 1894, d 3 September 1962).

     One of my favorite poetry sites is -- publisher of POETRY Magazine and supplier of a wonderful phone app (also entitled POETRY).  The app offers access to an enormous data-base of poems, sorted into categories that may be accessed using a SPIN feature, activated by touch.  Spinning the upper layer of categories can lead to "Humor" or "Joy" or "Insecurity" or  . . ..  Spinning the lower layer of categories can lead to "& Life" or  "& Nature" or . . . . When my spin picked the match of "Humor" and "& Arts and Sciences" I found a list of 263 poems.  One was Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky."  I also found the tiny poem "Nothing"  by Ken Mikolowski that plays with meaning as mathematicians also love to do. 

       Nothing     by Ken Mikolowski

       can replace
       in my life
       and one day
       it will

Mikolowski's "Nothing" is available here at and in Big Enigmas (Past Tents Press, 1991).  Also similarly accessible from the POETRY App is "Squaring the Circle" by Philip Fried -- a poem that appeared in POETRY Magazine in 2014 and is available here at Two previous blog posts that also consider the circle-squaring problem include 10 May 2010 and 21 April 2010.

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