Monday, May 23, 2022

Crisscrossing Infinity

     Poet and painter and literary theorist Paul Hartal was born in Hungary, with higher-education experiences in Israel and the U.S. -- and is now a long-term Canadian.  Recently Hartal contacted me to share a couple of his poems that involved mathematical topics -- and I offer one of these below, "Crisscrossing Infinity." Hartal's poem refers to a war memorial constructed using the pattern that first appeared in the sculpture "Endless Column" by Romanian artist Constantin Brancusi (1876-1957) and is on display at New York's MA, Museum of Modern Art.

       Crisscrossing Infinity       by Paul Hartal

       In the city of Targu Jiu, Romania,
       an abstract sculpture rises
       30 meters high.
       It is made of 15 zinc and cast iron
       rhomboidal modules
       (plus a half unit).
       These repetitive,
       double pyramidal shapes
       form Constantin Brancusi's
       'Endless Column',
       a 1938 work honoring
       the fallen Romanian soldiers of WWI.
       The rhythmic rhomboid geometry,
       metal vertebrae in the spine of time
       indicate infinite expansion.

       The Hungarian composer Gyorgy Ligeti
       was inspired by Brancusi's
       Coloana Infinita.
       Ligeti's Piano Etude #14
       features loud, ascending sounds
       scaling chord sequences
       that generate a sense
       of upward flow, an ascending motion
       that dissolves and vanishes
       in the boundless space
       of the cosmos.

     Lots of poems by Hartal are available here at PoemHunter.comHere is a link to "Saved by Mathematics."  Found at another site, here is Hartal's almost mathy "Piano Tunes."

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