A long-time supporter of this blog and of math-poetry connections is Gregory Coxson, Research Engineer at the US Naval Academy-- and he has recently shared with me the following poem, a translation of work by German writer and scientist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832); publication and translation details may be found online here. Coxson was drawn back to his memories of this math-linked poem with the arrival of November and at his campus the bright-yellow leaves of the ginkgo trees.
Ginkgo Biloba translation of work by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
In my garden’s care and favour
From the East this tree’s leaf shows
Secret sense for us to savour
And uplifts the one who knows.
Is it but one being single
Which as same itself divides?
Are there two which choose to mingle
So that each as one now hides?
As the answer to such question
I have found a sense that’s true:
Is it not my song’s suggestion
That I’m one and also two?
More about Goethe's poem can be found here at WisdomPortal.com.