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

**Negative numbers**

Because he understood mathematics,

he thought he can teach

other children.

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.

**Geometry**

A circle

comes complete

with its

own grave.

*“Geometry” by Richard Brautigan*

If I understand

Brautigan’s thought

correctly,

every closed curve

comes complete

with its

own grave.

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.

Lots of love, JoAnne!

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