Last month the Library of Congress named a new poet laureate, Juan Felipe Herrera, a Californian and Mexican-American whose work often involves oral performance - as in “187 Reasons Mexicanos Can’t Cross the Border,” (City Lights, 2007). As I have learned about this poet I have found that I identify with his process, "I write while I’m walking, on little scraps of paper,” he said. (Wasn't walking also a writing strategy for William Wordsworth?)

When I am introduced to the work of a new poet it has become my custom not only to enjoy her or his work but also to look for the ways that she or he uses mathematics. The following poem is found, along with others by Herrera, at Poets.org.

## Friday, July 3, 2015

## Wednesday, July 1, 2015

### Sex, Maths, and the Brain

I found this poetry in an abstract (with a link posted at "Women in Maths" on Facebook) for a lecture by Professor Gina Rippon entitled "Sex, Maths, and the Brain" at Aston University in Birmingham, England, on 30 June 2015. Enjoy!

*Is there such a thing as a maths**brain? Are mathematicians born**or made? Is the lack of girls**in maths subjects**a 'brain' problem?*
Labels:
biological,
brain,
consequences,
found poem,
Gina Rippon,
girls,
mathematician,
mathematics,
maths,
sex,
social,
woman

### June 2015 (and prior) -- titles, dates of posts

Scroll
down to find titles and dates of posts so far in 2015.

And follow these links for each year to to go to lists of posts through 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011 -- and all the way back to March 2010 when this blog was begun. This link leads to a SEARCH BOX for the blog and this link leads to a PDF file that lists searchable topics and names of poets and mathematicians presented herein.

Jun 29 Celebrating angles and rainbows . . .

Jun 27 The power of eleven

Jun 24 Found poetry -- Mary Cartwright

Jun 22 Uncertainty . . .

Jun 21 Seeing the NEWS in square stanzas

And follow these links for each year to to go to lists of posts through 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011 -- and all the way back to March 2010 when this blog was begun. This link leads to a SEARCH BOX for the blog and this link leads to a PDF file that lists searchable topics and names of poets and mathematicians presented herein.

Jun 29 Celebrating angles and rainbows . . .

Jun 27 The power of eleven

Jun 24 Found poetry -- Mary Cartwright

Jun 22 Uncertainty . . .

Jun 21 Seeing the NEWS in square stanzas

## Monday, June 29, 2015

### Celebrating angles and rainbows . . .

**C**

**E**

**L**

**E**

**B**

**M A R R I A G E**

**A A**

**T Y**

**E**

And let me add a bit of mathematics -- for my friends (both gay and straight) who love to play with language:

A recent

*New Yorker*article ("Go Ask Alice" by Anthony Lane, 6-8-15,48-54)

on Lewis Carroll (1832-1898) offered this quote -- this "found" poem:

Obtuse anger

is that which is greater

than right anger.

This year, 2015, marks the 150th anniversary of the publication of the first edition of

*Alice's Adventures in Wonderland*.

Labels:
Alice in Wonderland,
Anthony Lane,
found poem,
Lewis Carroll,
mathematics,
New Yorker,
obtuse,
right

## Saturday, June 27, 2015

### The power of eleven

One of my recent poetry acquisition treasures is

Hopper's quatrain:

Someone should build a large dodecahedron,

with a poem in hendecasyllabics

on each pentagonal face except the base.

I'd start with this poem by Lewis Turco.

*Measure for Measure: An Anthology of Poetic Meters*, edited by Annie Finch and Alexandra Oliver (Everyman's Lbrary, 2015). From a DC poet and friend, Paul Hopper, a few weeks ago I received comments about one of the sections of this collection -- a section containing stanzas in*hendecasyllabics,*that is, in 11-syllable lines Hopper has sent a sample quatrain of hendecasyllabics that points to "Into Melody" by Lewis Turco. A bit of mathematical terminology is found in the opening lines of Peter Kline's "Hendecasyllabics for Robert Frost" -- and I offer these samples below.Hopper's quatrain:

Someone should build a large dodecahedron,

with a poem in hendecasyllabics

on each pentagonal face except the base.

I'd start with this poem by Lewis Turco.

Labels:
Alexandra Oliver,
Annie Finch,
base,
circle,
dodecahedron,
hendecasyllabics,
measure,
pentagon

## Wednesday, June 24, 2015

### Found poetry -- Mary Cartwright

Recently I have been reading about mathematician Mary Cartwright (1900-1998) and working to develop a poem about her -- relying on a fine article/interview by my friend Jim Tattersall published in the

I regret to say that my impression

when I began research was that, in general,

less qualified men were employed quite a lot,

which eliminated some quite good women.

*The College Mathematics Journal*(September 2001). Her work on the foundations of chaos theory was prominently presented in a 2013 BBC News article. A couple of days ago my acquisition of Rachel Swaby's book --*Headstrong Women: 52 Women Who Changed Science and the World*(Broadway Books, 2015) -- added to my information about Cartwright. Here, from quotations offered by Tattersall and Swaby, are some of Cartwright's poetic words (reflecting on the ages and genders of mathematicians)*.*First, speaking of her employment at Cambridge:I regret to say that my impression

when I began research was that, in general,

less qualified men were employed quite a lot,

which eliminated some quite good women.

Labels:
change,
found poem,
James Tattersall,
learning,
Mary Cartwright,
mathematics,
Rachel Swaby,
women

## Monday, June 22, 2015

### Uncertainty . . .

Sometimes we find things of great value when we are looking for something else -- in fact, Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges has said,

One of my recent stumbles (while looking for work by Borges) was onto the website of Robert Ronnow -- and I have found it a fun place to browse. Here is a sample, a poem from his recent collection,

--with a line by Pico Iyer

There cannot be two identical things in the world. Two

hydrogen atoms

offer infinite locations within their shells for electrons.

Thus, nothing can be definitely eventually known.

*The best way to find a good thing is to go looking for something else . . .*One of my recent stumbles (while looking for work by Borges) was onto the website of Robert Ronnow -- and I have found it a fun place to browse. Here is a sample, a poem from his recent collection,

*The Scientific Way to Do Mathematics*:**Uncertainty**by Robert Ronnow--with a line by Pico Iyer

There cannot be two identical things in the world. Two

hydrogen atoms

offer infinite locations within their shells for electrons.

Thus, nothing can be definitely eventually known.

Labels:
identical,
infinite,
Jorge Luis Borges,
mathematics,
number,
poetry,
Robert Ronnow,
uncertainty,
verse,
zero

## Sunday, June 21, 2015

### Seeing the NEWS in square stanzas

Reading today's

Sharks don't kill

as many

as cows do.

Also, Pope Francis has spoken out, expressing his concerns for our environment:

Pope Francis,

like me, sees

climate change--

a real

problem.

*Washington Post,*a surprising statistic:

Sharks don't kill

as many

as cows do.

In the years 2001 to 2013 in the US an average of 20 deaths annually were caused by cows,

compared with 1 during each of those years from sharks.

Also, Pope Francis has spoken out, expressing his concerns for our environment:

Pope Francis,

like me, sees

climate change--

a real

problem.

Labels:
abortion,
climate change,
cow,
die,
kill,
Pope Francis,
square,
statistics,
syllable-square

## Wednesday, June 17, 2015

### Judith Grabiner and Howard Nemerov

Last evening at the Distinguished Lecture Series sponsored by the MAA it was my privilege to hear an outstanding presentation by Judith Grabiner entitled "Space: Where Sufficient Reason Isn't Enough." (I invite you to go to the MAA website to learn more about Grabiner and her talk.)

Grabiner is a math-woman I have long admired and, after the lecture, while I was shaking her hand and thanking her for the excellent presentation, I took a moment to ask her if she had any favorite mathy poems. Although surprised by my question she was able to cite Elizabeth Barrett Browning's

You may scroll down to find Nemerov's "Magnitudes" (found also at PoetryFoundation.com and PoemHunter.com along with other work by this fine poet). Poet Laureate of the United States during 1988-1990, Howard Nemerov (1920-1991) served as a combat pilot during World War II and maintained a continuing interest in the stars and navigation. Here are links to my earlier postings of poems by this favorite poet.

"Two Pair" "Grace to Be Said at the Super Market"

"Lion and Honeycomb" "Creation Myth on a Mobius Band"

"To David, About His Education" "Found Poem" "Figures of Thought"

And here, expressing concerns about our planet, is Nemerov's "Magnitudes":

Grabiner is a math-woman I have long admired and, after the lecture, while I was shaking her hand and thanking her for the excellent presentation, I took a moment to ask her if she had any favorite mathy poems. Although surprised by my question she was able to cite Elizabeth Barrett Browning's

*Sonnet XLIII*that counts the ways of love -- a few lines of which are found here -- and the name Howard Nemerov, whom readers of this blog know is one of my favorite poets.You may scroll down to find Nemerov's "Magnitudes" (found also at PoetryFoundation.com and PoemHunter.com along with other work by this fine poet). Poet Laureate of the United States during 1988-1990, Howard Nemerov (1920-1991) served as a combat pilot during World War II and maintained a continuing interest in the stars and navigation. Here are links to my earlier postings of poems by this favorite poet.

"Two Pair" "Grace to Be Said at the Super Market"

"Lion and Honeycomb" "Creation Myth on a Mobius Band"

"To David, About His Education" "Found Poem" "Figures of Thought"

And here, expressing concerns about our planet, is Nemerov's "Magnitudes":

Labels:
billion,
change,
doubling,
Howard Nemerov,
Judith Grabiner,
limit,
magnitude,
million,
speed

## Tuesday, June 16, 2015

### Imagine a Fractal

California poet Carol Dorf is also a math teacher and is poetry editor of the online journal

*TalkingWriting*. In the most recent issue of*Talking-Writing*is this fascinating poem by Brooklyn poet, Nicole Callihan, "How to Imagine a Fractal." Enjoy Callihan's poetic play with recursion and infinite nesting -- be lulled by the back and forth of*forever*.
Carol Dorf's work has appeared in this blog:

Her fan-letter to the author of a math book is here

and a poem about fear of math is posted here.

**How to Imagine a Fractal**by Nicole Callihan
Labels:
Carol Dorf,
finite,
fractal,
infinite,
Nicole Callihan,
prose poem,
recursion,
space,
talkingwriting.com

## Tuesday, June 9, 2015

### Square stanzas for Women in Maths

**Women**

**in Maths --**

**it all**

**adds up.**

Go here for "It All Adds Up" -- a story in

**plus***Magazine*by Rachel Thomas about the recent Women in Maths conference sponsored by the London Mathematical Society.
And if you know of POEMS that celebrate women in mathematics, please contact me (email address at bottom of blog) or post a link in the comments to this post.

## Friday, June 5, 2015

### A portrait of TB in numbers

Poet Sarah Browning recently directed me to "Tuberculosis in Numbers," a fine poem by M. Brett Gaffney that appears in the latest issue of

“In the past, we have been unable to get a true picture of the TB situation

in Louisville due to the method of keeping statistics.” – Dr. Oscar O. Miller

Two weeks coughing when the mother’s only son

finds three bloody tissues—thinks of maple leaves.

Ten days at the sanatorium, four ribs taken. One father teaches

his boy how to wait by filling in crossword puzzles—

twelve across, seven letters: to eat or devour.

The boy’s mother dies four months after his thirteenth birthday.

Tuesday morning at nine, it rains. His father smokes one cigarette, two.

Men come and take her body away. Under the sheet, ten toes.

One priest. Four lines of scripture. . . .

*Rogue Agent.*The poem opens this way:**Tuberculosis in Numbers**by M. Brett Gaffney“In the past, we have been unable to get a true picture of the TB situation

in Louisville due to the method of keeping statistics.” – Dr. Oscar O. Miller

Two weeks coughing when the mother’s only son

finds three bloody tissues—thinks of maple leaves.

Ten days at the sanatorium, four ribs taken. One father teaches

his boy how to wait by filling in crossword puzzles—

twelve across, seven letters: to eat or devour.

The boy’s mother dies four months after his thirteenth birthday.

Tuesday morning at nine, it rains. His father smokes one cigarette, two.

Men come and take her body away. Under the sheet, ten toes.

One priest. Four lines of scripture. . . .

Gaffney's complete poem is available here.

Labels:
M. Brett Gaffney,
numbers,
Rogue Agent,
Sarah Browning,
statistics,
TB

## Tuesday, June 2, 2015

### 17 syllables -- and other art

What is he talking about? What does he mean?

The thought-provoking riddle posed by these 17 syllables (presented here as 3 square stanzas) from Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951) is something I found on the the wall of the National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome, not far from a replica of "Fountain" by Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968). Photos of both are shown below.

The thought-provoking riddle posed by these 17 syllables (presented here as 3 square stanzas) from Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951) is something I found on the the wall of the National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome, not far from a replica of "Fountain" by Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968). Photos of both are shown below.

What you are

regarding

as a gift

is a

problem

for you

to solve.

Labels:
4th dimension,
art,
Ludwig Wittgenstein,
Marcel Duchamp,
problem,
square

### May 2015 (and prior) -- titles, dates of posts

Scroll
down to find titles and dates of posts so far in 2015.

And follow these links for each year to to go to lists of posts through 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011 -- and all the way back to March 2010 when this blog was begun. This link leads to a SEARCH BOX for the blog and this link leads to a PDF file that lists searchable topics and names of poets and mathematicians presented herein.

May 29 Add and subtract to get . . . a minimalist poem

May 26 Galileo in Florence

May 20 In the Tuscan sun

May 14 Sonnets from The Voyage of the Beagle

May 13 Folk music -- counting syllables

May 10 Stars and men revolve in a cycle . . .

And follow these links for each year to to go to lists of posts through 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011 -- and all the way back to March 2010 when this blog was begun. This link leads to a SEARCH BOX for the blog and this link leads to a PDF file that lists searchable topics and names of poets and mathematicians presented herein.

May 29 Add and subtract to get . . . a minimalist poem

May 26 Galileo in Florence

May 20 In the Tuscan sun

May 14 Sonnets from The Voyage of the Beagle

May 13 Folk music -- counting syllables

May 10 Stars and men revolve in a cycle . . .

## Friday, May 29, 2015

### Add and subtract to get . . . a minimalist poem

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.

un + s = up;

up - s = un.

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

Labels:
addition,
Bob Grumman,
haiku,
LeRoy Gorman,
minimalist,
poem,
subtraction

## 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,
circle,
coil,
Darwin,
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

### April 2015 (and prior) -- titles, links for posts

Scroll
down to find titles and dates of posts so far in 2015.

And follow these links for each year to to go to lists of posts through 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011 -- and all the way back to March 2010 when this blog was begun. This link leads to a SEARCH BOX for the blog and this link leads to a PDF file that lists searchable topics and names of poets and mathematicians presented herein.

Apr 29 A poem for your pocket

Apr 25 Geometry of baseball

Apr 22 Earth Day -- April 22, 2015

Apr 19 April celebrates Math and Poetry

Apr 14 Remembering Abraham Lincoln

And follow these links for each year to to go to lists of posts through 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011 -- and all the way back to March 2010 when this blog was begun. This link leads to a SEARCH BOX for the blog and this link leads to a PDF file that lists searchable topics and names of poets and mathematicians presented herein.

Apr 29 A poem for your pocket

Apr 25 Geometry of baseball

Apr 22 Earth Day -- April 22, 2015

Apr 19 April celebrates Math and Poetry

Apr 14 Remembering Abraham Lincoln

## Wednesday, April 29, 2015

### A poem for your pocket

Years ago, when "Poem in Your Pocket Day" (April 30) was first celebrated, we did not have cellphones to carry poems with us easily. Here is a tiny but memorable poem for you to carry with you tomorrow -- on your phone or in your pocket -- a poem to open and read, again and again.

Hughes' poem "Addition" is found in

Hughes' poem "Addition" is found in

*Strange Attractors: Poems of Love and Mathematics*(A K Peters, 2008) and was first posted in this blog, along with other poems linked to Black History Month on February 20, 2011.

Labels:
addition,
infinite,
Langston Hughes,
poem in your pocket day

## Saturday, April 25, 2015

### Geometry of baseball

Many poems are written of baseball; a few of them involve mathematics -- see the posting for April 9, 2010 for math-related baseball poems by Marianne Moore (1877-1972) and Jerry Wemple; see the posting for September 18, 2011 for one by Jonathan Holden.

Today I feature the opening stanza from a baseball poem by Pennsylvania poet, Le Hinton.

from

This is the place where my father educated us:

an open-air school of tutelage and transformation.

This is where we first learned

to count to three, then later to calculate the angle

of a line drive bouncing off the left field wall.

We studied the geometry and appreciated the ballet

of third to second to first, a triple play.

Today I feature the opening stanza from a baseball poem by Pennsylvania poet, Le Hinton.

from

**Our Ballpark**by Le HintonThis is the place where my father educated us:

an open-air school of tutelage and transformation.

This is where we first learned

to count to three, then later to calculate the angle

of a line drive bouncing off the left field wall.

We studied the geometry and appreciated the ballet

of third to second to first, a triple play.

**. . .**## Wednesday, April 22, 2015

### Earth Day -- April 22, 2015

Consider today the thoughtful words of this sonnet by Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950):

Read history: so learn your place in Time

And go to sleep: all this was done before;

We do it better, fouling every shore;

We disinfect, we do not probe, the crime.

Our engines plunge into the seas, they climb

Above our atmosphere: we grow not more

Profound as we approach the ocean's floor;

Our flight is lofty, it is not sublime.

Yet long ago this Earth by struggling men

Was scuffed, was scraped by mouths that bubbled mud;

And will be so again, and yet again;

Until we trace our poison to its bud

And root, and there uproot it: until then,

Earth will be warmed each winter by man's blood.

These lines are found on my shelf in

Read history: so learn your place in Time

And go to sleep: all this was done before;

We do it better, fouling every shore;

We disinfect, we do not probe, the crime.

Our engines plunge into the seas, they climb

Above our atmosphere: we grow not more

Profound as we approach the ocean's floor;

Our flight is lofty, it is not sublime.

Yet long ago this Earth by struggling men

Was scuffed, was scraped by mouths that bubbled mud;

And will be so again, and yet again;

Until we trace our poison to its bud

And root, and there uproot it: until then,

Earth will be warmed each winter by man's blood.

These lines are found on my shelf in

*Collected Sonnets*(Revised and Expanded Edition) by Edna St. Vincent Millay (Harper & Row, 1988). AND, recall**the arithmetic of a sonnet**: 14 lines (or breaths) and 5 iambs (or heartbeats) per line.
Labels:
arithmetic,
Earth day,
Edna St. Vincent Millay,
sonnet

## Sunday, April 19, 2015

### April celebrates Math and Poetry

April is National Poetry Month and Mathematics Awareness Month. Yesterday I was able to attend several of the popular and crowded events at the National Math Festival (Here's a link to "A Field Guide to Math on the National Mall" where you can see photos of items pointed out to yesterday's visitors.) and tomorrow evening (April 20) I will be part of a reading that features poetry of math and science at the DC Science Cafe (at Busboys & Poets, 5th &K Streets, 6:30 PM).

For tomorrow evening's reading I intend to wear my red-peppers earrings; one of the poems I will offer will be "A Taste of Mathematics" (from my collection

She said, "Hot peppers

are like mathematics —

with strong flavor

that takes over

what they enter."

For tomorrow evening's reading I intend to wear my red-peppers earrings; one of the poems I will offer will be "A Taste of Mathematics" (from my collection

*Red Has No Reason*and posted in its entirety at this link). Here is the poem's final stanza:She said, "Hot peppers

are like mathematics —

with strong flavor

that takes over

what they enter."

## Tuesday, April 14, 2015

### Remembering Abraham Lincoln

Today -- April 14, 2015 -- marks the 150th birthday of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865) and April 15 is the date on which he died. Lincoln loved poetry and trained his reasoning with Euclid's geometry. Here is a brief sample of his own poetry (found -- along with other samples -- at PoetryFoundation.org).

Abraham Lincoln

his hand and pen

he will be good but

god knows When

From my copy of Walt Whitman's

**Abraham Lincoln**by Abraham LincolnAbraham Lincoln

his hand and pen

he will be good but

god knows When

From my copy of Walt Whitman's

*Leaves of Grass*(Signet Classics, 1955), from the section "Memories of Lincoln," I have copied these well-known and thoughtful (and non-mathematical) lines:
Labels:
Abraham Lincoln,
assassination,
Euclid,
geometry,
mathematics,
poetry,
Walt Whitman

## Saturday, April 11, 2015

### Time is no straight line . . .

Swedish poet and Nobel Laureate Tomas Transtromer (1931-2015) died last month. At his website I found this poem that reflects on the arithmetic and geometry of life:

In the bottom drawer I find a letter which arrived for the first time twenty- six years ago. A letter written in panic, which continues to breathe when it arrives for the second time.

A house has five windows; through four of them daylight shines clear and still. The fifth window faces a dark sky, thunder and storm. I stand by the fifth window. The letter.

**Reply to a Letter**by Tomas TranstromerIn the bottom drawer I find a letter which arrived for the first time twenty- six years ago. A letter written in panic, which continues to breathe when it arrives for the second time.

A house has five windows; through four of them daylight shines clear and still. The fifth window faces a dark sky, thunder and storm. I stand by the fifth window. The letter.

Labels:
arithmetic,
geometry,
infinite,
labyrinth,
life,
line,
Nobel Prize,
Tomas Transtromer

## Tuesday, April 7, 2015

### Man Ray's "Human Equations"

Art lovers in Washington, DC have the opportunity (until 5/10/15) to see, on exhibit at The Phillips Collection, "Man Ray -- Human Equations: A Journey from Mathematics to Shakespeare." I visited the exhibit on February 19 on the occasion of a poetry reading by Rae Armantrout -- she presented work of hers that she felt captured the spirit of Man Ray's work. (Bucknell poet Karl Patten, whom I had as a poetry teacher years ago, insisted that "Every Thing Connects" and, indeed, this is the title of one of the poems in Patten's collection

*The Impossible Reaches*. Both of these phrases that became titles for Patten seem also to describe Man Ray's and Armantrout's work: they have taken seemingly disparate objects and reached across seemingly impossible gaps to relate them. As often happens in mathematics.)## Friday, April 3, 2015

### Mathematics and poetry -- are the same ! ! !

Last week the Art Works Blog posted an interview with mathematician, poet, and translator,

quoting Enriqueta Carrington:

**Enriqueta Carrington**. You will want to follow the link and read the whole thing. Here is a paragraph:quoting Enriqueta Carrington:

Mathematics and poetry are the same thing,

or one is a translation of the other.

Well, perhaps that is an overstatement;

but both math and poetry are about beautiful patterns,

about creating, gazing at, and sharing them,

or one is a translation of the other.

Well, perhaps that is an overstatement;

but both math and poetry are about beautiful patterns,

about creating, gazing at, and sharing them,

and about appreciating those created by others.

It is not necessary to be a great mathematician or a great poet

to enjoy this beauty, as I can tell you from my own experience.

to enjoy this beauty, as I can tell you from my own experience.

Several years ago, at a time near the beginning of this poetry-math blog, in the posting for April 8, 2010, is a pantoum by Carrington. And here is another of hers, this time a Fibonacci poem -- whose lines increase in word-count that matches the first eight Fibonacci numbers: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21.

Labels:
beautiful,
beauty,
Enriqueta Carrington,
Fibonacci,
mathematics,
poetry,
translation

### March 2015 (and prior) -- titles, links for posts

Scroll
down to find titles and dates of posts so far in 2015.

And follow these links for each year to to go to lists of posts through 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011 -- and all the way back to March 2010 when this blog was begun. This link leads to a SEARCH BOX for the blog and this link leads to a PDF file that lists searchable topics and names of poets and mathematicians presented herein.

Mar 31 April is . . . a time for math and poetry . . .

Mar 29 Science Verse

Mar 26 The problem of time

Mar 23 March 23 -- Emmy Noether's birthday

Mar 22 March 21 -- World Poetry Day

Mar 19 Multiplied by Rain

Mar 17 A Russian toast (with mathematics)

Mar 13 Three GreguerÃas

And follow these links for each year to to go to lists of posts through 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011 -- and all the way back to March 2010 when this blog was begun. This link leads to a SEARCH BOX for the blog and this link leads to a PDF file that lists searchable topics and names of poets and mathematicians presented herein.

Mar 31 April is . . . a time for math and poetry . . .

Mar 29 Science Verse

Mar 26 The problem of time

Mar 23 March 23 -- Emmy Noether's birthday

Mar 22 March 21 -- World Poetry Day

Mar 19 Multiplied by Rain

Mar 17 A Russian toast (with mathematics)

Mar 13 Three GreguerÃas

## Tuesday, March 31, 2015

### April is . . . a time for math and poetry . . .

Once upon a time

I counted to the tenth prime

and found a word to rhyme.

Tomorrow is not only April Fool's Day -- it also begins "National Poetry Month" and "National Mathematics Awareness Month." I hope you will scroll down through this blog for math-poetry intersections -- and that you will like what you find and return for more.

(If you are near Washington, DC, consider a visit to MathFest on Saturday, April 18.)

## Sunday, March 29, 2015

### Science Verse

Recently coincidence has brought to me two collections of poems about science -- first, the 2014 issue of

*The Nassau Review*, a gift from editor and poet Christina M. Rau. The second collection is a "used" children's book,*Science Verse*(by John Scieszka and Lane Smith) found at the wonderful Kensington Row Bookshop (scroll down their webpage to find out about their monthly poetry readings). I include below two rhyming stanzas from*Science Verse*, followed two selections from*The Nassau Review 2014*-- a poem by Diane Giardi which is a*parody*(or*isomorphic image*) of a nursery rhyme and a poem by Katherine Hauswirth which may or may not consider*infinity*.**Hey Diddle Diddle**

Hey diddle diddle, what kind of riddle

Is this nature of light?

Sometimes it's a wave,

Other times a particle . . .

But which answer will be marked right?

## Thursday, March 26, 2015

### The problem of time

Californian Brenda Hillman is a poet whose work I like and admire. In "Time Problem" she weaves prime numbers into a deft description of the dilemma of not enough time.

The problem

of time. Of there not being

enough of it.

My girl came to the study

and said Help me;

I told her I had a time problem

which meant:

I would die for you but I don’t have ten minutes.

Numbers hung in the math book

like motel coathangers. The Lean

Cuisine was burning

**Time Problem**by Brenda HillmanThe problem

of time. Of there not being

enough of it.

My girl came to the study

and said Help me;

I told her I had a time problem

which meant:

I would die for you but I don’t have ten minutes.

Numbers hung in the math book

like motel coathangers. The Lean

Cuisine was burning

Labels:
boundary,
Brenda Hillman,
curve,
factoring,
math,
poem,
Poetry Foundation,
prime,
time

## Monday, March 23, 2015

### March 23 -- Emmy Noether's birthday

Today, March 23, 2015, Google celebrates the 133rd birthday of mathematician Emmy Noether. In support of the celebration here is a link to "My Dance is Mathematics," a poem I wrote to honor this pioneering mathematician. I hope that celebrations of Noether and other math-women will help to create a world in which these lines from my poem about her are no longer true:

If a woman's dance is mathematics,

she dances alone.

If a woman's dance is mathematics,

she dances alone.

## Sunday, March 22, 2015

### March 21 -- World Poetry Day

Yesterday poetry was celebrated around the world -- the Guardian reported the event with mention of CafÃ©s around the world that offered a cup of coffee in exchange for a poem. The occasion caused me to turn to one of my favorite international collections,

The little box that contains the world

Fell in love with herself

And conceived

Still another little box.

*The Horse Has Six Legs*(Graywolf, 2010) -- an anthology of Serbian poetry translated and edited by poet Charles Simic. On 29 April 2011 I posted "Forgetful Number" by Yugoslav poet Vasko Popa (1922-1991) -- and here is another of Popa's poems. This one is part of a cycle of poems about "the little box" and it involves recursion.**Last News about the Little Box**by Vasko PopaThe little box that contains the world

Fell in love with herself

And conceived

Still another little box.

Labels:
box,
Charles Simic,
infinite,
mathematics,
recursion,
Vasko Popa,
World Poetry Day

## Thursday, March 19, 2015

### Multiplied by Rain

There are many mathematical terms that are used in daily life -- not only

Poet Jane Hirschfield weaves words into fine tapestries that give us new dimensions of meaning. The

Lie down, you are horizontal.

Stand up, you are not.

*multiplied*and*divided*and*negative*but also*closure*and*identity*and*field*and*commute*-- and it is fun for me, a math person, to see poets use such terms in new and thoughtful ways.Poet Jane Hirschfield weaves words into fine tapestries that give us new dimensions of meaning. The

*Table of Contents*of her new book,*The Beauty*(Knopf, 2015), is scattered with mathematical terms -- we find*zero, plus, subtraction*, and the final title, "Like Two Negative Numbers Multiplied by Rain." This poem first appeared in*Poetry*(2012) and is available at the Poetry Foundation website along with more than thirty additional Hirshfield poems.**Like Two Negative Numbers Multiplied by Rain**by Jane HirshfieldLie down, you are horizontal.

Stand up, you are not.

Labels:
Jane Hirshfield,
logic,
mathematics,
multiplied,
negative,
number,
poetry

## Tuesday, March 17, 2015

### A Russian toast (with mathematics)

Several weeks ago I had the pleasure of visiting the Washington Museum of Poetry and Music -- a collection in Rockville, MD gathered and maintained in the home of Uli Zislin
who has lived in the US since 1996. (Among other treasures, the musuem has recordings of poets Anna Akhmatova, Boris Pasternak, Osip
Mandelstam, and Anastasia Tsvetaeva.) At the time of my visit, Zislin
presented me with one of his own poems that includes a bit of mathematics.
The original Russian version of Zislin's poem is at the bottom of this
post. Prior to that I offer a translation into English by Arlington poet,
teacher, and award-winning Russian translator, Katherine Young. Thank you, Katherine.

Friends and colleagues, pedagogues!

We’re not philosophers, not gods.

We’re simply people, soldiers of God,

destined to suffer and to love.

**A Pedagogical Toast**by Uli Zislin*translated by Katherine E. Young*Friends and colleagues, pedagogues!

We’re not philosophers, not gods.

We’re simply people, soldiers of God,

destined to suffer and to love.

Labels:
delta t,
Katherine Young,
mathematics,
museum,
poetry,
Russian,
Uli Zislin

## Friday, March 13, 2015

### Three GreguerÃas

From Portugal, from Francisco -- who emailed me the gift of these lines:

translated by Francisco J Craveiro de Carvalho and JoAnne

Holding her hoop the little girl goes to school and to the playground,

to play with the circle and its tangent.

Zeros are the eggs from which all the other numbers are hatched.

Numbers are the best acrobats in the world: they stand on top of each other without falling down.

RamÃ³n GÃ³mez de la Serna is considered the father of the

**Three**by RÃ¡mon GÃ³mez de la Serna (1888-1963)*GreguerÃas*translated by Francisco J Craveiro de Carvalho and JoAnne

Holding her hoop the little girl goes to school and to the playground,

to play with the circle and its tangent.

Zeros are the eggs from which all the other numbers are hatched.

Numbers are the best acrobats in the world: they stand on top of each other without falling down.

RamÃ³n GÃ³mez de la Serna is considered the father of the

*greguerÃa*-- a one-liner in which he combined gentle humor with a metaphor.## Tuesday, March 10, 2015

### Similar, self-similar -- fractals, a poem

In geometry two objects are said to be

A term used in the terminology of

*similar*if they have the same shape --- which happens if their angles are the same size and occur in the same sequence. For example, any pair of triangles with angles 30, 60, and 90 degrees are similar; also, the lengths of pairs of corresponding sides of these triangles have the same ratio.A term used in the terminology of

**fractals**is*self-similarity*: a self-similar object has exactly (or approximately) the same shape as a part of itself. A variety of objects in the real world, such as ferns and coastlines, are approximately self-similar: parts of them show the same statistical properties at many scales. At the end of this post are a couple of diagrams that illustrate how a fractal may be developed. But first, experience the generative beauty of self-similarity via a poem by Maryland poet Greg McBride. Mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot (1924-2010), quoted in McBride's epigraph, often is nicknamed "the father of fractals."
Labels:
angle,
Benoit Mandelbrot,
fractal,
Greg McBride,
Innisfree,
mathematics,
poem,
recursion,
self-similar

## Saturday, March 7, 2015

### The mathematician, she . . . .

Tomorrow, March 8, is the International

In this posting I celebrate Grace Brewster Murray Hopper (1906-1992) -- a mathematician with a doctorate from Yale, a navy admiral, a computer scientist who led in the development of COBOL, an early (c.1959) programming language. A person I had the good fortune to meet when she visited Bloomsburg University in 1984 to receive an honorary

If it's a

good idea,

do it.

*-- and I celebrate the day with mixed feelings. YES, there are many women I want to celebrate. BUT WHY are they not celebrated daily, equally with men? And a more specific concern, WHY, when the word "mathematician" is used, is the person assumed to be a man. (There is, on the other hand, a nice non-gendered neutrality in***Day of the Woman***numbers*-- as in this first stanza of "Numbers," by Mary Cornish, found below.)In this posting I celebrate Grace Brewster Murray Hopper (1906-1992) -- a mathematician with a doctorate from Yale, a navy admiral, a computer scientist who led in the development of COBOL, an early (c.1959) programming language. A person I had the good fortune to meet when she visited Bloomsburg University in 1984 to receive an honorary

*Doctor of Science*Degree. Hopper was imaginative and articulate; here is some poetry found in her words.If it's a

good idea,

do it.

## Friday, March 6, 2015

### Celebrate Pi -- write in Pilish

On 3/14/15 many of us will celebrate

**Ï€**- day; for those who like to gaze on the digits of**Ï€**, one hundred thousand of them are available here. In honor of this upcoming special day I have composed a small stanza in*Pilish*(the language whose word-lengths follow the digits of**Ï€**).
3. 1 4

**Get a list,**
1 5

**I shout,**
9 2 6 5 3 5

## Tuesday, March 3, 2015

### Women in Maths -- on Facebook

Recently I prepared an item for Rachel Levy's Grandma Got STEM blog that told a bit about my granddaughters who like math. My preparation for that posting led me to focus on my wish to have math be a fun place for girls to hang out -- a place for lots of girls: feminine girls, sporty girls, popular girls, silly girls (as well as geek girls). Mathematics has mostly been a lonely place for females -- my first girl-friend who was also a math person was a colleague whom I met in my 40s (see my poem for Toni, "Girl-Talk"). I want mathematics to be a welcoming place for my granddaughters. A place with friends.

Related to this concern, wonderful news came in my email box recently from Susanne Pumpluen (video) at the University of Nottingham. She has started a

Related to this concern, wonderful news came in my email box recently from Susanne Pumpluen (video) at the University of Nottingham. She has started a

**. There one can find bios, videos, news links and FRIENDS. Visit. LIKE. Offer your comments and support.***Women in Maths*page on Facebook
Labels:
Facebook,
friend,
girls,
granddaughters,
Grandma,
math,
poem,
Rachel Levy,
Susanne Pumpluen,
think,
Toni Carroll,
Women in Maths

### February 2015 (and prior) -- titles, links for posts

Scroll
down to find titles and dates of posts so far in 2015. You may follow these links offered for each year to to go to lists of posts through 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011 -- and all the way back to March 2010 when this
blog was begun. This link leads to a SEARCH BOX for the blog and this link leads to a PDF file that lists searchable topics and names of poets and mathematicians presented herein.

Feb 28 Reflections on Logic

Feb 24 Found poetry - words of Dirac

Feb 21 How many grains of sand?

Feb 16 The numbers say it all . . .

Feb 13 America, land of equals (perhaps)

Feb 9 Surreal parabola, Mobius strip

Feb 6 Celebrate Black History, Valentine's Day

Feb 5 Moebius Strip

Feb 2 Is winter half over?

Feb 28 Reflections on Logic

Feb 24 Found poetry - words of Dirac

Feb 21 How many grains of sand?

Feb 16 The numbers say it all . . .

Feb 13 America, land of equals (perhaps)

Feb 9 Surreal parabola, Mobius strip

Feb 6 Celebrate Black History, Valentine's Day

Feb 5 Moebius Strip

Feb 2 Is winter half over?

## Saturday, February 28, 2015

### Reflections on Logic

Miroslav Holub (1923-1998), Czech poet and immunologist who excelled in both endeavors, is one of my favorite poets. He combines scientific exactitude with empathy and absurdity. Here is a sample:

translated by Stuart Friebert and Dana Habova

The big problem is everything has

its own logic. Everything you can

think of, whatever falls on your head.

Somebody will always add the logic.

In your head or on it.

**Brief Reflections on Logic**by Miroslav Holubtranslated by Stuart Friebert and Dana Habova

The big problem is everything has

its own logic. Everything you can

think of, whatever falls on your head.

Somebody will always add the logic.

In your head or on it.

Labels:
cube,
cylinder,
logic,
mathematics,
Miroslav Holub,
Numbers and Faces,
poetry

## Tuesday, February 24, 2015

### Found poetry - words of Dirac

The epigraph for Richard Bready's "Times of Sand" (a stanza of which I posted a few days ago on 21 February) is a quote from British physicist Paul Dirac (1902-1984, founder of quantum theory). This quote reminded me how often we find poetry within well-written prose -- and I have gone to WikiQuotes and found more poetic words from Dirac:

If you are

receptive

and humble,

mathematics

will lead you

by the hand.

If you are

receptive

and humble,

mathematics

will lead you

by the hand.

Labels:
equation,
mathematical,
mathematics,
Paul Dirac,
physical,
poetry,
quantum theory,
science

## Saturday, February 21, 2015

### How many grains of sand?

Sand beaches are places I love to walk. Next to oceans and soft underfoot.

Contemplating grains of sand turns my thoughts to the pair of terms "finite" and "infinite." One of my friends, university-educated, versed in literature and philosophy, offered "all of the grains of sand" as an example of an infinite set. As we talked further, he proposed "the stars in the universe" as a second example. This guy, like many, equates "infinite" with "too large to count." And then there is me; long ago in college I encountered a definition of "infinite" that went something like this: A set is

Below I post a stanza from Richard Bready's "Times of Sand" --

a long poem that explores many of the numbers related to sand.

**if there is a one-to-one correspondence between the members of the given set or one of its proper subsets with the set {1, 2, 3, . . ..} of counting numbers.***infinite*
Labels:
calculus,
finite,
Garrett Hardin,
infinite,
mathematics,
poem,
Richard Bready,
sand,
Tragedy of the Commons

## Monday, February 16, 2015

### The numbers say it all . . .

The title of my posting today, "The numbers say it all" comes from the final line of "After Leviticus," by Detroit poet Philip Levine. Levine (1928-2015) died this past Saturday. Often termed "a working class poet," this fine writer won many awards for his work.

The seventeen metal huts across the way

from the great factory house seventeen

separate families. Because the slag heaps

burn all day and all night it’s never dark,

so as you pick your way home at 2 A.M.

on a Saturday morning near the end

**After Leviticus**by Philip LevineThe seventeen metal huts across the way

from the great factory house seventeen

separate families. Because the slag heaps

burn all day and all night it’s never dark,

so as you pick your way home at 2 A.M.

on a Saturday morning near the end

## Friday, February 13, 2015

### America, land of equals (perhaps)

Preparing to celebrate (after

Centre of equal daughters, equal sons,

All, all alike endear'd, grown, ungrown, young or old,

Strong, ample, fair, enduring, capable, rich,

Perennial with the Earth, with Freedom, Law and Love,

A grand, sane, towering, seated Mother,

Chair'd in the adamant of Time. [1888]

This poem is found here in the

*Valentine's Day*)**, remembering particularly George Washington (b February 22, 1732) and Abraham Lincoln (b February 12,1809), I offer a few lines by Walt Whitman (1819-1892).***Presidents' Day***America**by Walt WhitmanCentre of equal daughters, equal sons,

All, all alike endear'd, grown, ungrown, young or old,

Strong, ample, fair, enduring, capable, rich,

Perennial with the Earth, with Freedom, Law and Love,

A grand, sane, towering, seated Mother,

Chair'd in the adamant of Time. [1888]

This poem is found here in the

*Walt Whitman Archive**.*## Monday, February 9, 2015

### Surreal parabola, Mobius strip

When a math term appears in a poem, will its usage make sense to a mathematician? Some mathematical folks are critical of poetic use of math words because precision may be lost to "poetic license." Others feel a pleasing tension between the mathness of a term and the stretched or layered meanings suggested by the poem. With these thoughts in mind, consider these two mathematically-titled poems "Mobius Strip" and "Parabola" by Robert Desnos (France, 1900-1945), translated by Amy Levin and selected from "A sampling of French surrealist poetry."

The track I'm running on

Won't be the same when I turn back

It's useless to follow it straight

I'll return to another place

**Mobius Strip**by Robert Desnos (trans. Amy Levin)The track I'm running on

Won't be the same when I turn back

It's useless to follow it straight

I'll return to another place

Labels:
Amy Levin,
mathematics,
Mobius strip,
parabola,
poetic license,
poetry,
Robert Desnos

## Friday, February 6, 2015

### Celebrate Black History, Valentine's Day

February is Black History Month and on the 14th we celebrate love with Valentine's Day. To find in this blog a variety of mathy poems on these topics (and many others)

**click here to open a search box**.
Labels:
Black History Month,
love,
mathy,
poem,
Valentine

## Thursday, February 5, 2015

### Moebius Strip

Following a lead from Francisco, I found (here) this tiny poem by Michael Hessel-Mial:

a belt of clouds

twist it, latch it

twisted

which way will it rain?

To find more poems that feature the

**moebius strip**a belt of clouds

twist it, latch it

twisted

which way will it rain?

To find more poems that feature the

**Mobius strip****click here to open a search box**-- and enter the term*. Alternatively, the search box also works for other topics.***mobius**
Labels:
Michael Hessel-Mial,
Mobius strip,
rainbow,
twist

## Monday, February 2, 2015

### Is winter half over?

Today (February 2) those of us with roots in Pennsylvania join enthusiasts from everywhere as we look to mythical groundhog Punxsutawney Phil for a forecast concerning prolonged winter or early spring. This morning Phil's forecast was bleak but not unexpected: we will have six more weeks of winter.

This news that our winter is only half over has led me to a poem (found in the illustrated anthology

for Christopher Smart

When winter was half over

God sent three angels to the apple-tree

Who said to her

"Be glad, you little rack

Of empty sticks,

Because you have been chosen.

In May you will become

A wave of living sweetness

A nation of white petals

A dynasty of apples."

Another winter poem by Porter with a bit of mathematics is included in this post for 25 November 2012.

This news that our winter is only half over has led me to a poem (found in the illustrated anthology

*Talking to the Sun,*edited by Kenneth Koch and Kate Farrell, published in 1985 by the Metropolitan Museum of Art):**Another Sarah**by Anne Porter (1911-2011)for Christopher Smart

When winter was half over

God sent three angels to the apple-tree

Who said to her

"Be glad, you little rack

Of empty sticks,

Because you have been chosen.

In May you will become

A wave of living sweetness

A nation of white petals

A dynasty of apples."

Another winter poem by Porter with a bit of mathematics is included in this post for 25 November 2012.

Labels:
Anne Porter,
groundhog,
half,
mathematics,
poetry,
Punxsutawney,
winter

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