Friday, April 28, 2017

March for Climate -- again!

       The lines below are copied from a posting made on September 20, 2014 -- posted as I finalized plans to travel to New York City for a climate march.  From that March I saw some positive action BUT I am grieving over the changes in the last 100 days.

     To have a small carbon footprint I will march tomorrow with only a small sign -- one that wears a 3x3-square reminder that dates back to a 1968 essay, "Tragedy of the Commons,"  by ecologist Garrett Hardin (1915-2003). 

       There   is   no
       place to throw
       that ' s   away.

WHY is it taking us so long to act to preserve a habitable planet?  Do we not care about the world we are leaving for our grandchildren?

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Math-Arts Journal -- Free Access

     Sometimes an email contains a wonderful gift -- such was the case recently when I got a message from the Journal of Mathematics and the Arts giving me access AT THIS LINK to a generous collection of outstanding articles from the 10-year history of this important publication.  One of the articles relates to poetry:  Niccolò Tartaglia's poetic solution to the cubic equation, by Arielle Saiber of Bowdoin College in Maine.
     The collection of free articles notes this history of JMA:  "The journal took shape following a meeting arranged by the late Reza Sarhangi at the 2005 Bridges [Math-Arts] Conference, where Kate Watt from Taylor & Francis met with a group of interested conference participants. Following a group proposal led by Gary Greenfield, the journal launched in 2007 with Gary as editor for the first five volumes. Craig S Kaplan then took over as editor in 2012, until he handed the reins to current editor Mara Alagic at the beginning of 2017.  BIG THANKS to all of you for this noteworthy journal!

Here, from Saiber's article, are a few lines from 
          Veronica Gavagna's translation of Tartaglia's Quando chel cubo:

Monday, April 24, 2017

Poetry and Science -- Allies in Discovery

     Poet Jane Hirshfield read onstage as part of the March for Science in Washington, DC on Saturday April 22.   Science and poetry both arise from the same desire for exploration, Hirshfield opined.  “If you don’t think at all, you think of them as opposites,” she said. “They are allies in discovery.”
     Hirshfield's staged poem, "On the 5th Day," appeared in the Washington Post a few days before the march.    Here are its opening stanzas (visit the Post link for the complete work.)
       On the Fifth Day     by Jane Hirshfield

       On the fifth day
       the scientists who studied the rivers
       were forbidden to speak
       or to study the rivers.

       The scientists who studied the air
       were told not to speak of the air,    

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Remembering Karl Patten

     From my Lewisburg, PA friend, Ruta Karelis, I have recently learned of the April 16  death of my beloved first poetry teacher, Bucknell professor and poet, Karl Patten (1927-2017).  Karl's oft-repeated phrase (and poem title) "Every Thing Connects"  -- found on my shelf in The Impossible Reaches (Dorcas Press, 1992) -- is on my mind daily.  Another poem from that collection -- "The Play" -- I am reading and rereading today, remembering the poet.  Here it is, from Karl Patten, for you.

The Play     by Karl Patten

You're tired?  I'm tired too.  Let's forget we're people, forget all that.

You be a horizon, infinite, flat, a forever-place,
I'll be double, gray-blue ocean, gray-blue sky, touching you, just. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Poetry by Victorian Scientists

     Thanks to Greg Coxson who has recently alerted me to this 2011 article by Paul Collins in New Scientist, "Rhyme and reason: The Victorian poet scientists."  In the article, Collins is reviewing an anthology edited by Daniel Brown entitled The Poetry of Victorian Scientists: Style, Science and Nonsense (Cambridge University Press, Reprint-2015).
     The article has links to poetry by James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879), William J. Macquorn Rankine (1820-1872), and James Joseph Sylvester (1814-1897).  Below I offer two of the eight entertaining stanzas from Rankine's poem, "The Mathematician in Love." (This poem and Maxwell's "A Lecture on Thomson's Galvanometer" also appear in the wonderful anthology that Sarah Glaz and I edited -- Strange Attractors:  Poems of Love and Mathematics (A K Peters/CRC Press, 2008, now available as an e-book.)

from  The Mathematician in Love     by William J Macquorn Rankine  

Friday, April 14, 2017

A Fib for Easter

     Recently a reader commented privately to me that she did not like the Fib as a poem-style since it seems to allow almost any prose statement to be formed into a poem.  My opposite reaction to her comment stems, in part, from my use of the Fib with workshop students -- many of them join me with delight at the way the Fib syllable-count format has guided them to pleasing word-selections.  
     As Easter approaches, my thoughts have been shaped into these lines:

          to celebrate spring's
          victory of life over death. 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Mathematics and Poetry are . . .

     This week between Palm Sunday and Easter is a school vacation week for six of my grandchildren -- Carly and Emma, Shaya and Daniel, Serena and Caroline -- who live in the Washington, DC area.  And so I am enjoying their company rather than developing new blog posts.  But I do have a few relevant Poetry-Math words (found at from Amit Ray:

“Mathematics and poetry are the two ways
 to drink the beauty of truth.”
― Amit Ray

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Prime -- with rhythm and rhyme

     Earlier this year, an email from James D. Herren let me know about his recent e-book, Wit and Wonder, Poetry with Rhythm and Rhyme --  a collection developed to be enjoyed by readers from 5th grade onward.  Herren is an advocate of energetic rhyming verse, AND his collection has some mathy stuff -- including these two little poems.  Thanks, Dave! 

          Prime   by James D Herren

          Our love is prime –  
          Divisible by none
          But you and I,
          For you and I Are One.      

Monday, April 3, 2017

Math-Stat Awareness Month -- find a poem!

APRIL is Mathematics and Statistics Awareness Month
National Poetry Month!

 Celebrate with a MATHY POEM, found here in this blog!  Scroll down!
If you are looking for mathy poems on a particular topic, the SEARCH box in the right-column may help you find them. For example, here is a link to posts found when I searched using the term "parallel."  And here are posts that include the term "angle."   To find a list of additional useful search terms, scroll down the right-hand column

For your browsing pleasure, here are the titles and dates of previous blog postings,
moving backward from the present.  Enjoy!
Mar 31  Math and poetry in film
Mar 28  Split this Rock, Freedom Plow Award, April 21
Mar 27  Math-themed poems at
Mar 23  Remember Emmy Noether!