*LabLit*in December 2012 (just in time to offer gentle mocking of predicted disaster)! Enjoy!

**Survivor's Guide to the Baktun-13 Bug**by Robert Dawson

As you may know, at this years’ Winter Solstice

the 12-baktun Long Count will overflow.

This poem by Halifax mathematician and poet, Robert Dawson, appeared in *LabLit* in December 2012 (just in time to offer gentle mocking of predicted disaster)! Enjoy!

**Survivor's Guide to the Baktun-13 Bug **by Robert Dawson

As you may know, at this years’ Winter Solstice

the 12-baktun Long Count will overflow.

As you may know, at this years’ Winter Solstice

the 12-baktun Long Count will overflow.

Labels:
baktun,
calendar,
count,
mathematics,
overflow,
poetry,
Robert Dawson

Labels:
Against Infinity,
algebra,
equal,
equations,
Linda Pastan,
math,
poetry,
solving,
Thanksgiving,
unknown,
X,
y

It was my good fortune to meet Colette Inez back in the early 1990s when she was poet-in-residence at Bucknell University. Then, as now, I was collecting poems-with-mathematics, and I have long loved this poem that weaves figuring into forests.

**Forest Children ** by Colette Inez

We heard swifts feeding in air,

sparrows ruffling dusty feathers,

a tapping on stones, mud, snow, pulp

when rain came down, the hiss of fire.

Counting bird eggs in a dome of twigs,

we heard trees fall and learned

to name them on a page for school.

We heard swifts feeding in air,

sparrows ruffling dusty feathers,

a tapping on stones, mud, snow, pulp

when rain came down, the hiss of fire.

Counting bird eggs in a dome of twigs,

we heard trees fall and learned

to name them on a page for school.

I met Minnesota poet Roseann Lloyd when we served together on an AWP (Associated Writing Programs) conference panel on translation several years ago. There I was considering, as I so often am, the translation of mathematics into representations that poets understand. Roseann 's father was a mathematics professor and she learned early that "mathematics is its own beauty." And she has permitted me to offer you this poem.

**HOW MY DADDY CHANGED WHEN HE GAVE UP TEACHING COLLEGE FOR SELLING INSURANCE ** by Roseann Lloyd

Once Daddy enthralled his students at SMS --

handsome in his navy blue suit and dusty hands,

chalk clicking out equations lickety-split.

A third-grader, I waited for him every day

in the cool marble hall. Listened to the rhythm

of the chalk on the board. Even then I knew

that pure math is an art equal to music, second

only to poetry in the realm of beauty.

Once Daddy enthralled his students at SMS --

handsome in his navy blue suit and dusty hands,

chalk clicking out equations lickety-split.

A third-grader, I waited for him every day

in the cool marble hall. Listened to the rhythm

of the chalk on the board. Even then I knew

that pure math is an art equal to music, second

only to poetry in the realm of beauty.

Labels:
beauty,
equation,
math,
mathematics,
poet,
poetry,
prime,
Roseann Lloyd,
translation

At the Poetry Foundation website, poet Audre Lorde (1934-1992) is described thus:

and her creative talent to confronting and addressing

the injustices of racism, sexism, and homophobia.

Here is a counting poem by this fine, bold poet:

A self-styled "black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet,"

writer
Audre Lorde dedicated both her life and her creative talent to confronting and addressing

the injustices of racism, sexism, and homophobia.

Here is a counting poem by this fine, bold poet:

Labels:
Audre Lorde,
counting,
injustice,
poem,
questions

This past week I attended a wonderfully stimulating BIRS (Banff International Research Station) Conference -- a gathering of creative writers in mathematics and the sciences -- and, as I told colleagues at Banff of early days in my long-term interest in the poetry of mathematics, I recalled the fine collection *Against Infinity: An Anthology of Contemporary Mathematical Poetry* (Primary Press, 1979), collected and edited by Ernest Robson and Jet Wimp. Today I pulled it from my shelves and again turned its pages. "Compromise" by Missouri mathematician Charles S. Allen caught my eye. Here it is:

Labels:
Against Infinity,
anthology,
Charles Allen,
compromise,
inequality,
mathematics,
poetry

Even as the finite encloses an infinite series

And in the unlimited limits appear,

So the soul of immensity dwells in minutia

And in narrowest limits no limits inhere.

What joy to discern the minute in infinity!

The vast to perceive in the small, what divinity!

Found in the anthology,

One thing leads to another . .. . poet Amy Eisner connected me to mathematician Jordan Ellenberg who knew of *Easy Math* (Sarabande Books, 2013) by Lauren Shapiro -- and Lauren gave me permission to post her "Bent Syllogism."

**Bent Syllogism **by Lauren Shapiro

There was a pattern to the way the mythical beasts

flew over the dreary town, but we were too dreary

to understand it. The psychologist, too, was in touch

with extraterrestrials, but she had to stand on the spire

of a church and wear 3-D glasses to see them.

There was a pattern to the way the mythical beasts

flew over the dreary town, but we were too dreary

to understand it. The psychologist, too, was in touch

with extraterrestrials, but she had to stand on the spire

of a church and wear 3-D glasses to see them.

In the stanzas below, I have some fun with math terminology. Hope you'll enjoy it too.

** Love! ** by JoAnne Growney

Love algebra! Through variable numbers

of factored afternoons and prime evenings,

party in and out of your circle of associates,

identify your identity, meet your inverse.

Love algebra! Through variable numbers

of factored afternoons and prime evenings,

party in and out of your circle of associates,

identify your identity, meet your inverse.

Labels:
arithmetic,
calculus,
chaos,
identity,
imaginary,
Integral,
inverse,
Mobius band,
pi,
prime,
rational,
real,
symmetries,
tangent

The collection, Late and Posthumous Poems, 1968-1974 (Grove Press, 1988) by Chilean Nobelist Pablo Neruda (1904-1973) offers to readers a collection of Neruda's later work, ably translated by Ben Belitt. Here is a poem that explores the vast world opened by the invention of numeration.

**28325674549 ** by Pablo Neruda

A hand made the number.

It joined one little stone

to another, one thunderclap

to another,

one fallen eagle

to another, one

arrowhead to another,

and then with the patience of granite

the hand

made a double incision, two wounds,

and two grooves: and a

number was born.

A hand made the number.

It joined one little stone

to another, one thunderclap

to another,

one fallen eagle

to another, one

arrowhead to another,

and then with the patience of granite

the hand

made a double incision, two wounds,

and two grooves: and a

number was born.

Labels:
counting,
number,
numeral,
numeration,
Pablo Neruda,
poem

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zero
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