Friday, August 25, 2006

Perelman and Me

Here is a timely mathematics poem by JoAnne Growny:

Perelman and Me

On Tuesday, August 22, 2006 Russian mathematician Grigory Perelman declined the Fields Medal for his contribution to the proof of a well-known and difficult conjecture first posed by Henri Poincare in 1904. I applaud Perelman’s seclusion.

The gravity of the universe
requires dark matter.
Choosing one thought
prevents another.

Little girls learn social graces
to make others feel at ease.
But friendly greetings
are never mathematics.

Difficult thoughts
are born in isolation :
genius slips away if socialized—
and so he must refuse the prize.

JoAnne Growney
25 August 2006

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