Friday, November 2, 2018

The Puzzle of Time

     Recently I have learned with sadness of the death last February of Romanian-Canadian mathematician Florin Diacu (1959-2018).  Florin also wrote poetry -- and helped to organize seminars in "Creative Writing in Mathematics" at the Banff International Research Station.  I met Diacu when I was privileged to attend these seminars -- and you may find my 2016 posting of his poem "Arnold Diffusion" at this link.  Today I remember him by sharing with readers his poem "Time" -- first published in the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics in 2012 and also available at this link.

       Time     by Florin Diacu

       Time drifts on the sea of illusions.

       Newton’s image of it was a line,
       unbounded and straight, like desire.
       Einstein called it dimension four:
       the lasting partner of space.

       For some of us time is money,
       the scent of the morning
       or the taste of the sea.
       It buds love or failure,
       extinction or bliss.

       We stretch time in childhood,
       squeeze it when old,
       hark to its flap
       and sniff at its trace.

       But we cannot reverse it
       because time is
       the shadow of change.

Here is a link to "Zeros," another poem by Diacu, also published in JHM.

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