Monday, February 24, 2020

Counting syllables, considering snowflakes

     From Larry Lesser, a professor at The University of Texas at El Paso (a researcher in math education) and a poet and songwriter and friend, today's poem offers a thoughtful reflection on the properties of a snowflake--and the fragility of thought and weather patterns.  But first (and also from Lesser), here's a clever "2019" stanza (in which each line has the number of syllables of the corresponding digit in that year):


                    sometimes the strongest thing we can say.

       SNOWFLAKE     by Lawrence Mark Lesser

        Some say
        ‘‘no two alike’’,
        others say
        ‘‘not too alike’’.
        Like Koch,
        we iterate
        through identities
        and intersections–
        a thickening

        and microaffirmations
        quickly crystallize
        ‘til finite
        mind’s surrounded
        by endless boundary
        whose dimension is not one, yet
        not two, triggering
        avalanches and
        blizzards of
        and rime
        once safe
        Who says
        ‘‘fragile’’ in the
        climate we have

I found Lesser's "Snowflake" here in The Mathematical Intelligencer  40, 81 (2018) -- and many examples of his work have appeared in earlier postings in this blog; here are links.

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