Thinking today of poet Bob Grumman (1941-2015) with special gratitude for the way he expanded my poetic horizons. For example, he introduced me to this addition-subtraction minimalist poem by LeRoy Gorman -- called "the day":

un + s = up;

up - s = un.

More information about Gorman and several more poetry samples are available here.

## Friday, May 29, 2015

## Tuesday, May 26, 2015

### Galileo in Florence

Poetry

"Philosophy is written in this grand book,

the universe, which stands continually

open to our gaze.

But the book cannot be understood unless one first

learns to comprehend the language and read the letters

in which it is composed.

It is written in the language of mathematics,

*found*in the words of Galileo Galilei (1564-1642):"Philosophy is written in this grand book,

the universe, which stands continually

open to our gaze.

But the book cannot be understood unless one first

learns to comprehend the language and read the letters

in which it is composed.

It is written in the language of mathematics,

## Wednesday, May 20, 2015

## Thursday, May 14, 2015

### Sonnets from The Voyage of the Beagle

The sonnet is a song of the

*as well as of the mind:***body**
14 breaths

5 heartbeats each breath

5 heartbeats each breath

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to be part of a poetry reading that also featured Rick Mullin -- who serves science as an editor of the

*Chemical and Engineering News*-- and whose latest poetry book is a collection of sonnets that offer a magical and musical retelling of Darwin's voyage -- in

*Sonnets from The Voyage of the Beagle*(Dos Madres Press, 2014). Here are two selections from that collection -- the opening sonnet (first of a triptych) and a later one that features geometry of birds.

**After Uranus**by Rick Mullin

*On reading Richard Holmes*

*I*

There was an age when poetry and science

shared the province of discovery,

when Coleridge wished he's studied chemistry

and Humphry Davy, in exact defiance

of the Royal Society, blew things up.

Labels:
Beagle,
Charles Darwin,
circle,
coil,
mathematics,
poetry,
Rick Mullin,
sonnet

## Wednesday, May 13, 2015

### Folk music -- counting syllables

Learn about and support

**Women****in Mathematics**.
One place to do that is here.

Using 4x4 and 2x2 syllable-squares, I emphasize the counting that lies behind folk music in the following selection from "Some Walls" (lyrics by Mary Ann Kennedy, Pamela Rose, Randy Sharp -- but line breaks are mine), recorded by Peter, Paul, and Mary:

**Some walls**

Some walls are made

of stone. Sometimes

we build our own.

Some walls can stand

Labels:
count,
Peter Paul and Mary,
square stanza,
walls

## Sunday, May 10, 2015

### Stars and men revolve in a cycle . . .

In a book-discussion group in which I participate, we are reading some of the short fiction of Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986) and that reading has provoked me to dive again into my copy of his

tr. Alistair Reid (1926-2014)

They knew it, the fervent pupils of Pythagoras:

That stars and men revolve in a cycle,

That fateful atoms will bring back the vital

Gold Aphrodite, Thebans, and agoras.

*Selected Poems*(Ed. Alexander Coleman, Penguin, 1999). Here is one of Borges' poems that uses terminology from mathematics:**The Cyclical Night**by Jorge Luis Borgestr. Alistair Reid (1926-2014)

*to Sylvina Bullrich*They knew it, the fervent pupils of Pythagoras:

That stars and men revolve in a cycle,

That fateful atoms will bring back the vital

Gold Aphrodite, Thebans, and agoras.

Labels:
Alistair Reed,
cycle,
endless,
fraction,
Jorge Luis Borges,
periodic,
poem,
Pythagoras,
rotation,
square

## Friday, May 8, 2015

### Include Arts in STEM -- and have STEAM !

**Welcome to this blog where we support STEAM !**

**math-student, performance-poet Harry Baker's**

**"A love poem for lonely prime numbers"**

A bit more about Harry Baker can be found in this May 23, 2014 posting.

In May 2015 visit Takoma Park Community Center Galleries for a STEAM exhibit organized by visual artist and poetry-lover Shanthi Chandrasekar.

In May 2015 visit Takoma Park Community Center Galleries for a STEAM exhibit organized by visual artist and poetry-lover Shanthi Chandrasekar.

Labels:
Harry Baker,
math,
poem,
prime,
STEAM,
STEM,
Takoma Park,
YouTube

## Wednesday, May 6, 2015

### Balancing Opposites -- Tagore's Epigrams

Many important mathematical ideas occur as pairs of opposites:

-2 and +2 (additive inverses), 5 and 1/5 (multiplicative inverses),

bounded and unbounded, rational and irrational,

convergent and divergent, finite and infinite

Some other familiar mathematical notions occur often in contrasting pairs but are not fully opposites:

horizontal and vertical, positive and negative,

open and closed, perpendicular and parallel

Recently I have returned to reading work by Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1931; Bengal, India; winner of the 1913 Nobel Prize in Literature) and I enjoy reflecting on contrasts posed by this reflective poet in a series of "Epigrams":

I will close my door to shut out all possible errors.

"But how am I to enter in?" cried Truth.

-2 and +2 (additive inverses), 5 and 1/5 (multiplicative inverses),

bounded and unbounded, rational and irrational,

convergent and divergent, finite and infinite

Some other familiar mathematical notions occur often in contrasting pairs but are not fully opposites:

horizontal and vertical, positive and negative,

open and closed, perpendicular and parallel

Recently I have returned to reading work by Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1931; Bengal, India; winner of the 1913 Nobel Prize in Literature) and I enjoy reflecting on contrasts posed by this reflective poet in a series of "Epigrams":

**Epigrams**by Rabindranath TagoreI will close my door to shut out all possible errors.

"But how am I to enter in?" cried Truth.

## Sunday, May 3, 2015

### Lines of breathless length

Brief reflections on definitions of LINE . . .

A LINE, said Euclid,

that is, it’s

and Euclid did (as do my friends)

named points as its two ends.

The LINE of modern geometry

escapes these limits

and stretches to infinity.

Just as unbounded lines

of poetry.

**Breathless length**by JoAnne GrowneyA LINE, said Euclid,

*lies evenly*

with the points on itself--with the points on itself

that is, it’s

*straight*–-and Euclid did (as do my friends)

named points as its two ends.

The LINE of modern geometry

escapes these limits

and stretches to infinity.

Just as unbounded lines

of poetry.

Labels:
breadthless,
Euclid,
geometry,
infinite,
line,
Martha Collins,
Molly Kirschner,
poetry,
segment

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