Imagine a world where the libraries are open
always !
and the words break free of their pages
and go screaming down the street.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Geometry October 14, 2010

The posting of the following poem was inspired by the discovery of the blog:
Intersections -- Poetry with Mathematics    Which looks at the intersection of Mathematics and Poetry. The posts are thoughtful and interesting.          


By Rita Dove


I prove a theorem and the house expands:
the windows jerk free to hover near the ceiling,
the ceiling floats away with a sigh.

As the walls clear themselves of everything
but transparency, the scent of carnations
leaves with them. I am out in the open

and above the windows have hinged into butterflies,
sunlight glinting where they’ve intersected.
They are going to prove some point true and unproven.

In the October 6th post: 'Poetry, in other words, is mathematics" from the intersection blog the author highlights two different authors and how they approach the intersection of math and poetry.

by Tim Love, British poet and member of the Computer Systems Group in the Engineering Department at Cambridge University. He is interested in the structure of poems and the importance of the  rules for these poems. He finds poetry being closely related to a  particular branch of mathematics known as combinatorics, the study of permutations.

Then there is Phil Bolsta who has an interest in palindromes and he provides a rather long list of them in is blog. But the other item that he posts is an amazing piece of  word structure gymnastics titled  “The Lost Generation”  which can be read from top to bottom for one meaning and from bottom to top for the opposite meaning.

The Lost Generation

I am part of a lost generation
and I refuse to believe that
I can change the world
I realize this may be a shock but
“Happiness comes from within”
is a lie, and
“Money will make me happy”
So in 30 years I will tell my children
they are not the most important thing in my life
My employer will know that
I have my priorities straight because
is more important than
I tell you this
Once upon a time
Families stayed together
but this will not be true in my era
this is a quick fix society
Experts tell me
30 years from now, I will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of my divorce
I do not concede that
I will live in a country of my own making
In the future
Environmental destruction will be the norm
No longer can it be said that
My peers and I care about this earth
It will be evident that
My generation is apathetic and lethargic
It is foolish to presume that
There is hope.
And all of this will come true unless we choose to reverse it.

Check out the links, they are both very interesting.

Tim Love sees a connection between poetry and the mathematical field of combinatorics, the study of permutations. One way to look at poetry and mathematics is
            Poetry is to writing
            As proofs are to mathematics

A complete mathematical proof  covers all cases (an infinite number) an many of these proofs are written with short concise statements.

Many poems do the same thing addressing larger than life issues on many different levels using only a short combination of words. This economy of words is one of the great things about poetry. Mathematics deals with infinite possibilities and poetry is a container for longing.  

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