Although he is not a participant in this year's BRIDGES, the name of Portuguese mathematician, poet, and translator Francisco José Craveiro de Carvalho appears near the top of the conference's poetry page for his translation of these lines that have become a sort of motto for BRIDGES poetry:
Newton's binomial is as beautiful as Venus de Milo.
What happens is that few people notice it.
--Fernando Pessoa (as Álvaro de Campos)
translated from the Portuguese by Francisco Craveiro
I have never met Francisco in person, but he and I have become friends via this blog -- and he has directed me to a number of wonderful mathy poems. Today I give you some of his own work -- two poems that soon will be available in a 2016 BRIDGES Poetry Anthology.
Two poems by Francisco José Craveiro de Carvalho
Translated from the Portuguese by Sarah Glaz and the author
Because he understood mathematics,
he thought he can teach
One day in class he shared his
solutions to simple cases of
first order equations.
Shame set his face on fire when
the teacher scolded him
for showing off.
We grow as we go. He learned how
to handle negative numbers
early in life.
own grave. “Geometry” by Richard Brautigan
If I understand
every closed curve
This is best seen
in a circle
because a circle is perfect.
Francisco tells this story of the history of his interest in poetry: While on a sabbatical at Leeds University, he came across the poem "Einstein" by Katharine O'Brien. This event sparked his interest in the connection between mathematics and poetry and led to his publication ainsÓniadefibOnacci, an anthology of O'Brien's poems translated into Portuguese. He has also translated into Portuguese a variety of work by other poets.