Monday, June 5, 2023

Number Patterns in Nature

     Naval Academy engineering professor and math-poetry fan Gregory Coxson has recently introduced me to poetry by Mattie Quesenberry Smith at VMI (for a bio of Smith, go to this page, scroll down, click on BIO) -- she and I have connected and she has shared with me several of her mathy poems; here is one about the Fibonacci numbers -- a number pattern found in nature:  

     Fibonacci Found It       by Mattie Quesenberry Smith

        It is spring on House Mountain,
          And I am wondering how
          Fibonacci found it
          And believed that it matters,
          That sequence of numbers
          Hinging on what precedes them,   
          Running this springtime show.
          Soon spring will be sanguine,
          Shouting from steep shadows,
          And the eight-petaled bloodroot,

          A robust and pure lion

          Rooted in his bloody rhizome,
          Is a rare know-it-all.
          A leaf encircles his stem.
          Its strange, veined palm
          Shields him from blood’s loss.

 ”Fibonacci Found It” was first published in Thirty Days: The Best of the Tupelo Press 30/30 Project’s First Year,” edited by Marie Gauthier, Tupelo Press, 2015. Reprint rights are retained by author.

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