Thursday, July 26, 2018

Mathematics . . . an encrypted love song . . .

      Australian poet Geoffrey Lehmann is also a writer of children's books and a tax lawyer.  This mathy poem comes from his collection, Spring Forest (Faber & Faber, 1994); I found it in the anthology A Quark for Mister Mark:  101 Poems about Science (editors--Maurice Riordan, Jon Turney; Faber & Faber, 2000) -- a collection introduced to me by Australian poet, Erica Jolly.

       Not Yet Found     by Geoffrey Lehmann

       I chose the name Spring Forest
       and I've yet to find the spring.

       Some unfinished equations
       are the closest I've come
       to the puzzle of why I'm here.   

       There is a book before our eyes --
       the night sky of the universe.
       Galileo saw its language was mathematics.
       A cricket's encrypted love song,
       light from an ancient start
       are mathematical messages
       arriving in sultry air.

       Imaginary and complex numbers
       allow life to reproduce itself
       endlessly and intricately
       without repetition --
       the elusive algorithms of a summer night.

Another fine poem from the same anthology is "Homage to Godel," by Hans Magnus Enzenberger -- and included in a 2016 posting at this linkAnd another is "Of many Worlds in this World"    by Margaret Cavendish at this link.

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