Monday, September 26, 2016

The Bloomsburg Fair -- with theorems and lies . . .

     Along the north branch of the Susquehanna River in east-central Pennsylvania lies the town of Bloomsburg -- known for Bloomsburg University (where I taught math for a bunch of years) and for the Bloomsburg Fair -- an annual celebration that attracts hundreds of thousands of people during each last week of September.  
     I grew up loving fairs -- in my hometown of Indiana, Pennsylvania, the last week of August brought the Indiana County Fair where we celebrated, with livestock and a carnival, the end of summer vacation.
     More than twenty years ago I gathered some of my Bloomsburg Fair memories in a poem.  The entire poem is found at this link; below I offer a sample of the mathy imagery from the poem.

from   The Bloomsburg Fair      by JoAnne Growney  
. . .
       In front of side-show tents,
       a barker barks his come-on-ins.
       Why don't my students receive theorems
       as willingly as passersby
       accept his lies?
. . .
       If parallels will never meet—
       then here's a man with snakes for hair,
       and there's a woman with three eyes.

      This poem appears in the anthology, COMMON WEALTH: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania, Edited by Marjorie Maddox and Jerry Wemple, (2005, PSU Press).

No comments:

Post a Comment