Monday, April 5, 2021

Mathy Poets plan for 2021 BRIDGES Conference

      The Annual BRIDGES Math-Art Conference will be virtual again this year (August 2-6, 2021) and mathematician-poet Sarah Glaz has developed an online array of poets and poetry to be part of this program.  Bios and sample poems are already available here.

      Participating poets include:  Marian Christie, Carol Dorf, Susan Gerofsky. David Greenslade, Emily Grosholz, JoAnne Growney, Lisa Lajeunesse, Marco Lucchesi, Mike Naylor, Osmo Pekonen, Tom Petsinis, Eveline Pye, Any Uyematsu, Ursula Whitcher -- and, also, these open-mike participants: Susana Sulic, S. Brackert Robertson, Stephen Wren, Marion Deutsche Cohen, Connie Tetteborn, Jacob Richardson, Robin Chapman. Stephanie Strickland.  (Bios and sample poems here.)

     Here is a sample from the BRIDGES poetry program:

Descartes   by Eeva-Liisa Manner
                        translated from the Finnish by Osmo Pekonen

I thought, but I wasn't.
I said animals were machines.
I had lost everything but my reason.  

Give my greetings to all those
          whose knowledge is secret,
Paracelsus, Swedenborg, and Elberfeld's numerate horses,
who extract a root and raise to a power,
calculate streaming numbers with their clever hooves, not their heads –
for the body knows everything,
but a learned head has a nail in it.
Say philosophy is loneliness and a dead body
copulating with reason and the baby is
a discourse on method and an imaginary quantity.

fast horses race over a dying France
and their hooves drum a hidden knowledge
          on the Cartesian temple-bone.
Today I'm one with them.

Note:  Influential  Finnish  poet  and  dramatist,  Eeva-Liisa  Manner  (1921–1995),  made  a  breakthrough  in  1956  with the publication of her poetry collection Tämä matka[This journey], which includes the poem “Descartes”.   Deeply critical of the intellectual climate of her times, Manner looked to the primitive innocence of ancient cultures as a source of renewal.

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