Monday, February 4, 2019

Quantum Lyrics -- Poems

     Quantum Lyrics (W.W.Norton, 2009) is the title of a poetry collection by A. Van Jordan in which the poet celebrates scientists -- including Feynman and Einstein -- and makes vivid use of mathematical and scientific terminology in his poems; here are samples from that collection:

from Richard P. Feynman Lecture:  Broken Symmetries
by A. Van Jordan
Symmetry walks between two worlds.  To the hands it tries to touch us from either side; to the feet it simply wants us not to stumble but to saunter. ...  We believe that love is equal to hate but nothing is perfectly symmetric. ...  Why, for example, does the earth orbit elliptically, as if these old hands had drawn the path, instead of following an elegant circle?   

from Princeton Cafeteria          by A. Van Jordan
          1949, Princeton has recently admitted its first group of black students, four in number
If A plus B = B plus A,
A and B bear the ability to add up:
why isn't race always commutative?
Take this cafeteria, filled with fresh

minds, ready to embark on mastering
math, science, and the arts but the art
of conversation across race evades
these stars of society's future.  ...

To browse work by poets featured in previous observances of "Black History Month," here's a link to follow.

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