Thursday, January 26, 2017

Ultimately, all mathematics is poetry . . .

     A popular vote on the truth of "all mathematics is poetry" might not lead to its affirmation. Because mathematics is a concise language, with emphasis on placing the best words in the best order, it often is described by mathematicians and scientists as poetry.  Alternatively, and more accessible to most readers than poetic mathematics, we find verses by poets who include the objects and terminology of mathematics in their lines.
     Perhaps due to aesthetic distance (featured in The Art of Mathematics by Jerry King), non-math poets like Christina M. Rau are able to be more playful in their uses of mathematical vocabulary than mathematicians dare to be.  Enjoy below several stanzas from Rau's collection, Liberating the Astronauts -- which also includes titles like "Chasing Zero" and "Kepler's Laws" -- soon to be released by Aqueduct Press.

   from:     Overnight Rain      by Christina M. Rau

                    Rain over Night
                    X over Autumn   

                    Deluge on a shingled roof
                    acts as the only variable
                    except when the incline

                    parallels several sides
                    on a dodecahedron
                    minus the area of a triangle 
                            . . .

Rau is editor of The Nassau Review -- and here is a link to some of that journal's science-poetry.

No comments:

Post a Comment