Tomorrow (April 22) is Earth Day. This worried poem is structured using
The Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic.
(Some explanatory notes follow the poem.)
|"We Are the Final Ones" by JoAnne Growney|
This poem of 21 lines is based on the prime factorizations of the first 21 positive integers. The title is line 1 and each line that corresponds to a prime number (2, 3, 5 and so on) corresponds to a new phrase. For example, 3 is "coral reefs die" and 19 is "trash piles grow". Lines for composite numbers include "and" to represent multiplication and "as" to represent raising to a power. So, for example, line 9 is "coral reefs die as we breath dirty air" and line 10 is "we breathe dirty air and storms are extreme".
My first discovery of this process for structuring a poem was in work by poet Carl Andre. More details about Andre and an earlier version of the poem I offer above are found at this link.