Thursday, November 18, 2021

MANIFOLD: Poetry Inspired by Mathematics

     One of my recent pleasant pastimes has been spending time with MANIFOLD:  Poetry of Mathematics  by E R Lutken.   This poet's experiences prepare her well for merging different points of view -- a Southerner from a family that loved learning, Lutken became a family physician who spent years on the Navajo Nation AND then became a teacher of science and mathematics.  Read more about Lutken and MANIFOLD here.  

The "luc bat" is a Vietnamese poetic form that means "six-eight" -- 
Lutken's poem consists of alternating lines of six and eight syllables.

         Ars Parabola     by E R Lutken

Luc Bat for Horace and MacLeish  
          Can’t say what a poem is or not
          but graph it and the plot
          might trace that perfect spot for one
          whose vertex taps the sun:
          abscissa makes a run from rhyme
          to none and metric time
          devolves from frozen symmetry.
          Equal distance of free
          line and focal point defines sure
          sense, logic’s stare obscured
          as symbols play in pure sound’s bright
          flare. White-hot words ignite
          a sharp savor, the bite, the risk,
          an ordinate of bliss.

"Ars Parabola" is from MANIFOLD, by E R Lutken, 3: A Taos Press, 2021,  presented here with permission of 3: A Taos Press and the poet.  The poem first appeared in Welter Literary Journal.

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