Monday, February 15, 2016

How Old Is the Rose-Red City?

     Most of Martin Gardner's fans are avid puzzler's -- my connection with him is also one of admiration (he was a thoughtful person who was a master at making connections among disparate things) but we are connected via poetry, including topics such as counting all possible rhyme schemes for a given stanza and the constraint-based poetry of OULIPO . . ..
     Gardner (1914-2010) was not a poet -- although he penned a quatrain or two, his great contribution was collecting and publicizing parodies and puzzle-verses by others.  Here is a link to Gardner's collection of poetic parodies, and here is a link to many of Gardner's puzzles, including the stanza below, "How Old is the Rose-Red City?" 

              A rose-red city half as old as Time.
              One billion years ago the city's age
              Was just two-fifths of what Time's age will be
              A billion years from now. Can you compute
              How old the crimson city is today?

Using the SEARCH option for this blog can lead you to additional information about Gardner's connections to poetry and about OULIPO.

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