Monday, November 5, 2018

Applied Science -- and Art

     Some days there is time to sort through piles of old stuff saved on a shelf -- and this morning's fun-find was a September 1993 issue of Poetry Magazine with this poem, "Applied Science," by Neal Bowers, a poem inspired by sculpture by George Greenamyer.

       Applied Science     by Neal Bowers
                        after George Greenamyer’s "Start to Finish"
       Because three left turns make a right,
       and the way down is the way up,
       the way in the way out,
       but most of all because
       the beginning is the end,
       where we are going looks
       remarkably like where we’ve been,
       ourselves growing small
       headed out for the horizon,
       looming large coming back,
       smug with solutions
       for such easy puzzles,
       devising a machine to settle everything,
       immense in our littleness,
       tinkering with the world.

At the University of Iowa, English professor Neal Bowers was one or two poets commissioned to write about the murals of Grant Wood.  Here is a link to Bowers' poem for "When Tillage Begins" -- and it is a celebration of tilling the soil as an art (just as mathematics is an art!).

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