Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Earth Day -- are we the FINAL ones?

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.

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