Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Poem-in-your-Pocket Day -- April 29, 2022

      The following stanza by  award-winning children's author,  Beatrice Schenk de Regniers, (1914-2000), has led to an annual celebration in US schools of "Poem-in-your-Pocket" Day:

          Keep a poem in your pocket 
          and a picture in your head     
          and you'll never feel lonely
          at night when you're in bed.  

     The poetry that is in my my pocket is the opening stanza of "The Waking" by Theodore Roethke (1908-1963).   As this previous posting indicates, Roethke's poem has not always been a favorite, but now -- as I stumble toward the later years of my life -- I cherish what it awakens in me and its first stanza (offered below) belongs in my pocket!

         I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
         I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
         I learn by going where I have to go.

  Roethke's entire poem, with comments, is found here in this 2018 blog posting. And this link leads to a response to "The Waking" that I wrote-- entitled "Running."

Monday, April 25, 2022

28 Lines for History's FIRST recorded author

     Earlier this month I attended (virtually) a mathematics conference and focused my attention on sessions that linked math and the arts.  One of these was a math-poetry presentation by Sarah Glaz which celebrated Enhuedanna (early Sumerian author -- 23rd century, BCE) "Enheduanna – Princess, Priestess, Poet and Mathematician" and included this wonderfully descriptive poem by Glaz.

Twenty-Eight Lines for the En-Priestess Enheduanna    by Sarah Glaz    

       In the beginning there is no beginning.
       Eternity’s dark fingers hold a lantern
       casting a glow
       over the city-state of Ur,
       where the Sumerian princess,
       high priestess of the Moon God, Nanna,
       daughter of King Sargon,  
       stretches the cord
       measuring land and irrigation canals,

Thursday, April 21, 2022

April 22 -- Observe Earth Day

     Along with the vicious Russian attacks in Ukraine, our world today is observing a much longer period of destruction to our planet.  This link leads to "EARTH DAY" poetry in earlier postings in this blog.  And here at this website are some Earth Day poems for students.

Choose with care--
Don't pollute.  
Don't waste. Earth's

are waning.
Please! Help save!

 For a bit of amusement, 25 Earth Day puns are found here.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Censorship of math books -- Oh, my!!

                         A Syllable-Square for Math Texts                    

                              If a math text shares
                              truth that is (for some)
                              banning it is not
                              what ought to be done!

A recent story in the The Washington Post (written by Valerie Strauss and Lindsey Bever; headline and link given below) examines criticisms of math texts that offer contemporary issues for mathematical consideration.

Here's a link to the Post story that follows this headline.

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Poetry at the Mathematics Conference

      Last weekend, April 6-9, was a virtual national jmm - Joint Mathematics Meetings -- and I attended a number of sessions that explored links between the focused languages of mathematics and poetry.  Presenters that I was privileged to hear included Carol Dorf, Sarah Glaz, Gizem Karaali, and Dan May.  Math guy Douglas Norton of Villanova University organized contributed-paper session on "Mathematics and the Arts" and also hosted a Friday-evening poetry reading -- an event in which much of the action was writing and sharing Fibs (6-line poems with syllable count being the first six Fibonacci numbers).  Here are several samples:

From Doug Norton:                                     From Dan May:

Me?                                                                        Pet
Write?                                                                    me
A Fib?                                                                     Or I
Not a fib.                                                                will bite you.
Put my heart in it.                                                  Nighttime is here, time
Let’s just see what comes bleeding out.                  to burn off all that hay I ate.

From David Reimann:                            From Gizem Karaali

Joint                                                                   one
Math                                                                    golde
Meetings                                                              dragon
Zoom with friends                                                metallic,
poetry alive                                                          majestic creature --
breathing words across many miles . . .               not sure I want to meet one now


Monday, April 11, 2022

War and Resistance -- in Eleven Three-line Stanzas

      Recently I searched work by Ukranian authors at the Poetry International website -- hoping to find poems with mentions of mathematics -- but I did not.  Eventually, though, praise of a poem by UK Poet Laureate Simon Armitage led me to "Resistance" (published here in The Guardian) with uses a prime number (11) of stanzas, each with a prime number (3) of lines, to speak of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and its effects.  Here are the opening stanzas:

       Resistance       by Simon Armitage

          It’s war again: a family
             carries its family out of a pranged house
                under a burning thatch.

          The next scene smacks
             of archive newsreel: platforms and trains
                (never again, never again),

          toddlers passed
             over heads and shoulders, lifetimes stowed
                in luggage racks.

          It’s war again: unmistakable smoke
             on the near horizon mistaken
                for thick fog. Fingers crossed.          . . .     

     for the rest of Resistance, follow this link.

     Ukrainian-born Ilya Kaminsky is a very fine poet now living in the US.  Here is a link to one of his poems that describes too many of us, "We Lived Happily During the War."

Monday, April 4, 2022

April Celebrates both Math and Poetry . . .

     April is Math-Stat Awareness Month and here at the American Mathematical Society website are lots of ideas for learning and enjoyment.  April also is National Poetry Month and, at this link, suggests 30 fun ways to observe the occasion.

 Celebrate the ways
that focused language
leads us to new thoughts!

And . . . here are some poetry-with-math links to explore:    a Smithsonian Magazine article by Evelyn Lamb;  an article in Slate Magazine by Stephen Ornes;  a posting by Laura Laing on the Math for Grownups website;  from way back in 2009, an article by Shirley Dent in The Guardian. 

Enjoy all of these AND, when your time permits, browse or SEARCH this blog!