Monday, January 27, 2020

Remembering Leonardo da Vinci

     One of the readers featured at the recent 1/17/2020 JMM math-poetry reading was Italian mathematician/poet Rosanna Iembo.  Below, with Iembo's permission, I offer a sample from her poem, "A New Dawn"  -- a poetic narrative in the voice of Leonardo da Vinci, a genius of the Italian Renaissance.  Here are a few lines from this narrative; the entire work is available from the poet (contact information is offered here on her website.).

Referring to Luca Pacioli, the poet's voice of da Vinci says:

       With him
       a common feeling
       that did not end over the years.

       And in the "Proportion"
       which he decided to call
       where I drew
       my polyhedra,
       reached maximum splendor.   

De Divina Proportione  by Luca Pacioli

       I often wondered
       why Pacioli wanted to call
       the proportion that led
       to a number
       which to everyone,
       the ‘golden number’ was.

       And the answer
       appeared to me from theology.

       This irrational number, elusive to all human understanding,
       unique but ubiquitous from nature to art, to harmony,
       came from a simple drawing where only 3 elements needed.

       It is made neither of water nor of air,
       neither of fire nor of earth,
       but it has in itself
       something of invariable
       and beautiful.

       Something of divine!
          . . .  

Lots of information about the golden ratio/divine proportion is available here.
To obtain the complete text for this narrative poem, contact the poet.  
(email:  rosannaiembo (at)

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