Monday, March 30, 2020

Mathematics...underlies everything...said the poet

     I first met scientist-poet Mary Peelen via an 2019 interview of her by mathematician-poet Gizem Karaali in The Adroit Journal .  The conversation includes an introduction to Peelen's poetry collection, Quantum Heresies (Glass Lyre Press, 2019) in which she discusses her intent "to show how mathematics and physics underlie everything in my life . . ." Read more here.

       NUMBER THEORY     by Mary Peelen

       Forty one apples in the tree,
       red and round,

       praise awaiting gravity,
       wholly free of abstraction.

       When it comes to the primes
       and matters of religion,

       I defer to Pythagoras,
       his ancient cult and authority. 

       Deep in the rites of spring
       he reveled in geometry,

       the shape of the soul,
       the promise of reincarnation,

       form and emptiness at play
       in pure recreation.

       Sun-ripened, fragrant,
       apples will offer up a real number,

       two score and one, twin prime
       fallen in a curious

       distribution, beautiful as conjecture
       on this wild, open ground.

The poem above by Mary Peelen is from a poetry folder, "Ecstatic Syllabi:  Four Poems"  -- published in the January 2019 issue of the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics and available at this link.  With her poems, Peelen also offers some background information about her own links to poetry and mathematics.  ENJOY!

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