Thursday, February 8, 2024

Rules that someone made up -- Is that MATH?

      As frequent readers of this blog know, I am indebted to many people for their contributions of poems -- their own and links to others.  An alert to today's poem came from Canadian poet Alice Major -- with previous contibutions to this blog found at this link.   The poem, "BOUNDARY CONDITIONS"  by Sneha Madhavan-Reese was published in the journal Rattle I offer, below, its opening and closing stanzas, followed by a link to the complete poem.

from   BOUNDARY CONDITIONS     by   Sneha Madhavan-Reese

                    who but men blame the angels for the wild
                           exceptionalism of men?   
 —Sam Sax, “Anti-Zionist Abecedarian”

       Along the border of any governed region, there exists a value which must
       satisfy its laws. This is a rule I learned for solving differential equations.

       Math seems like it doesn’t exist, my newly graduated kindergartner declares.
       It’s just rules that someone made up. She’s brilliant beyond her years.

             . . .

       Of course it’s made up, but that doesn’t mean it’s not real. There is math
       in the air we breathe, I tell her. People die for made up reasons every day.

       There is math in the shuddering earth. Find equations that govern its motion,
       whether by earthquake or explosion. Try and fail, try again and fail, to solve.

 Madhavan-Reese's complete poem, BOUNDARY CONDITIONS, is  available here.

His poem FOUR was published earlier in this blog, at this link.

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