Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Twelveness -- a Fibonacci poem from G4G

     Science writer, philosopher, and skeptic Martin Gardner (1914-2010) is perhaps best known for his long-running Scientific American column, "Mathematical Games."  His life and work are celebrated by G4G conferences ("Gatherings for Gardner") held in even-numbered years in Atlanta.  Here fans gather and present fun-mathematics to each other.
     A several-time participant in G4G is Kate Jones of Kadon Enterprises, an organization devoted to the development and distribution of Game PuzzlesBelow in a Fibonacci poem created for the 2016 G4G Jones tells the history of her game-puzzle enterprise.
Many Fibonacci poems use the Fibonacci number sequence 
to determine the numbers of syllables in successive lines of a poem.  
In the following poem, it is the numbers of words that are counted.
 A pentomino is a plane geometric figure formed by joining five equal squares edge to edge.  
There are twelve differently-shaped pentominos; this number gives the title of Jones's poem.

TWELVENESS  by Kate Jones

  1    Martin
  1    Gardner
  2    Long ago
  3    Wrote about pentominoes,
  5    Brainchild of young Solomon Golomb,
  8    The coolest recmath set in all the world.   

    Soon everybody played them, Gabriel made them,
    Even Arthur Clarke became their addict.
    Through a feat of fate along came Kate
    And started a business, because she could,
    Founded on 12 pieces of wood.
    And this one set begat lots more ―
    Combinatorial puzzles by the score ―
    As awards rolled in and ribbons flew
    And a beautiful mathematical product line grew,
    Lovingly crafted ... sold only in our traveling store.

      As decades flowed by, the pents we had named Quintillions
      Stood ever in first place, and their fans grew by the millions.
      Their shapes showed up in a whole parade
      Of other creations that we made.
      And dear Martin Gardner, friend and mentor,
      Let us produce the two games of which he was the inventor.

Because of my difficulty in formatting the long lines in stanzas 89 and 144, I have not included them here but refer you to Kate Jones's colorful presentation of "Twelveness" that is found online here.  In previous years' presentations at G4G, Jones also has combined mathematics and verse; follow the links: 2014, 2012, and 2010.  She also has participated with poetry and games and art at the 2015 and 2016 BRIDGES Conferences.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, JoAnne, for this nice presentation of my Fib verse and for your generous sharing of my other work. I have great fun writing these. And thank you for your superb blog of mathy poetry!