Many of the mathematical poetic forms introduced in this blog are structures that can be used to build a poet's fragmented thoughts into complete and poetic form. The Fib, for example, gives a syllable structure to help a writer shape an idea. Syllable-squares are another simple structure and -- familiar also but much more complex -- the fourteen-line Sonnet in iambic pentameter.
Math Professor Dan May of South Dakota often works with an interesting and more complex structure called the Fano Plane -- a finite projective plane of order 2 -- and composed of 7 vertices with 7 connecting lines, each joining three vertices:
|Fano Plane -- diagram from Wikipedia|
Using the Fano plane as a template (see tiny version of template) shown below), creation of a Fano plane poem involves several choices. FIRST, chose a theme to guide your word choice and then write a word inside each enlarged vertex. Then, number the lines using 1-7 and for each line write a stanza using the three words for that segment. Assemble these stanzas into a poem.
|Fano plane poem diagram|
A Fano Plane poem by Dan May (and additional poetry by his colleague, Courtney Huse-Wika) is contained in this handout, "Mathematical Poetry for Everyone" -- from a presentation by May at a recent mathematics conference.
To see two earlier blog postings involving work by Dan May, follow this link.
And, give yourself the adventure of creating a Fano Plane poem.