Sunday, February 7, 2016

Using a Fano plane to create a poem

     South Dakota mathematician Daniel May enjoys finding connections between his discipline and other arts -- and herein we consider a constraint-structure for poetry that he has developed using a Fano plane.  In brief, a Fano plane (shown in the diagram below) consists of 7 points and 7 lines (the three sides of the triangle, the three altitudes of the triangle, and the circle) -- with each line containing 3 of the points

Fano Plane Diagram

May creates a poem by associating a word with each point of the Fano plane and then creates a three-line stanza for each line of the diagram.  Here is a template for the poem "adore" -- and the poem itself is offered below the diagram: 

Fano plane guide for the poem "adore"

     Although "adore" is not May's favorite of his Fano-plane poems, he has given me permission to present it here because its short lines enable us to easily see the Fano-plane structure.  Enjoy: 

     adore        by Dan May
     we adore weather.
     january silver sky
     and leaves for the spring.

     you adore these leaves --
     red and yellow keys leaving
     circles in the mud.

     i adore the drone--
     sounds in circles forever
     sear my silver brain.

     we adore the keys
     to the dark drone overhead
     opening our weather.

     i adore all beats,
     the word that leaves me apart,
     a drone in a hive.

     you adore silver
     keys rattling on a chain.
     listen -- your heart beats.

     we adore circles.
     we can weather it each time --
     it never beats us.

Repeating words in successive stanza is familiar to many of us in the sestinahere is a link to a sestina about a Mobius strip posted earlier. And a blog-SEARCH (see box in right-hand column) can lead you to still other sestinas. 

No comments:

Post a Comment