Monday, July 17, 2023

Remembering Amy Uyematsu . . .

     This is a time of sadness in the math-poetry community as we  mourn the loss of poet and retired mathematics teacher, Amy Uyematsu (1947-1923).  Here is a link to an obituary that celebrates her life and scrolling down at this link leads to information about Uymatsu's scheduled contribution to an upcoming BRIDGES Math-Arts Conference.

     It was my delight to connect with Amy lots of years ago and I have featured her and her work often in this blog (This link leads to Blog-SEARCH results for Uyematsu.)  

     A frequently-discussed question in math circles is "Is mathematics discovered or invented?" -- and below I offer the opening stanzas of Uymatsu's poem, "The Invention of Mathematics."  The entire poem is available here in my blog posting for September 29, 2010.

The Invention of Mathematics        by Amy Uyematsu

                         A man who is not somewhat of a poet
                         can never be a mathematician.
                                      Karl Weierstrass, German mathematics teacher

     / one

               one is the only true number
               the I in the eye
               each baby the god
               in a mother's sigh       

     / two

               after the number two there was no stopping
               troubles blossoming
               in geometric progression
               two to tango
               and two required for murder and war
               Doris Day singing
               love me or leave me
               and the tragic lob
               of my nervous girlheart
               th-thump, th-thump
               she already knew
               that deafening silence
               when the call goes unanswered
               th-thump, th-thump
               downbeat on two   

                   . . .                           Uymatsu's complete poem is available here.

Thank you, Amy, for your wonderful life!

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