Monday, September 10, 2007

The Collaborative Substitution Poem

This post is one of the most important (if not the most important) post I have ever written to this blog and I have been wanting and waiting to write it for a couple of years I just needed the right time.

The most important aspect of mathematical poetry in my ‘humble’ opinion is collaborative substitution poems. Collaborative substitution poems can evolve eternally and infinitely like no other form of poetry. Even non-poets can make mathematical poems using existing mathematical poems. I get very excited whenever I think about how these poems could evolve. The mathematical poem is very special in the sense that its structure lends itself very easily to substitution of terms/variables.

Just like in the equation from physics which states that force = mass multiplied by acceleration. F = ma. (image above) Since acceleration can be defined as the change in velocity per time we can substitute delta v divided by delta t into the equation to yield F = mass multiplied by delta v divided by delta t or F= mass delta(v)/delta(t)

What this means for mathematical poetry is that all variables are capable of being substituted by another poem. This gives a poem infinite flexibility in that future poets can substitute the variables within it in ways that could turn a small poem into a giant rhizome of ideas with roots that extends itself into many directions similar in shape to the black dotted arms spreading across the tabletop of the domino game. Today we are making the first step (that I know of) in this process.

On August 13, 2007 Cherryl Floyd-Miller posted a similar triangles poem titled death. It just so happens that I created a similar triangles poem posted May 17, 2007 also titled death.

Here is another look at Cherryl’s poem “Death”

Here is another look at my poem “Death”

If I solve for the term “death” in my poem (actually it is already solved for “death” in the original posting) and replace the variable “death” from Cherryl’s poem with my poem (solved for death) then we get the following expression. I have kept the color of the words so that they can be easily seen within both contexts shown below.

I have solved the expression above for the term Life and this leaves us with the following poem.

Now that we have seen it together in the later image I present the final image Here is our “collaboration poem”

One of the things I really enjoy about this poem is the conflation of the original contexts. Cherryl’s poem had a context of corporal finality where the context of mine was more about the process of spiritual growth. In this poem both ideas can be seen.

Now the next thing that could happen is that another mathematical poet describes one of the other elements in this poem such as “pulseless” or “heresy”. Then they take their poem and substitute it for “pulseless” or “heresy” and viola we have a new collaborative poem made from three poets. And so on and so on and so on …


BLUE said...

hi Kaz:

i love the work you're doing here. keep on building!


Kaz Maslanka said...

I am so happy you were able to see this poem, for I have had no way to contact you. I tried googling to see if I could find an address for you but could not ... no need now ... Again, I am so happy you have seen our collaboration. I feel it is a really interesting piece and hopefully others will follow.


Nihal said...

Hi Kaz,
Thanks a lot for your stopping by on my blog:) If everything has got a base related to maths, then it becomes natural to me the relationship existing bw art and maths:)Thanks a lot for sharing another point of view about maths w/in your comment. From my blog, I made an advice for my readers to visit yours, b'cause it sounds like a study worthy that you do, incredible! I've never seen such a work flow like yours before. Certainly I'll be your visitor. Stay with the power of maths:)
Kindest, Nihal

Kaz Maslanka said...

Thank you so much for dropping by and leaving the kind words.


Anonymous said...

What i like about the collaboration is how the method gives a result that i doubt was on either of your minds.
For me it's like finding a connection between a couple seemingly unrelated physical concepts by working with a couple of equations that share a common term or two.


Kaz Maslanka said...

First I want to say that I am honored that you dropped by. Secondly, I think you hit the nail on the head pointing out that there is a wonderful new expression that neither of us anticipated. Furthermore, what I find exciting is that more people can plug into it and create a larger richer poem and it all relates back to a logical structure that can be visualized (pairs of congruent triangles). I also want to note that anyone (non-mathematical) can create a congruent triangles poem even if they do not ‘get’ the full mathematical richness that you and I do.

Again, Thanks for coming by!

Kreative Talk said...

I love it!

Kaz Maslanka said...

Thanks so much for dropping by!

Henry Lawson Poems said...

Hi Kaz, very linear and structured, I really liked it.

Kaz Maslanka said...

Thank you Henry Lawson Poems for dropping by and leaving a comment. Good luck on your Henry Lawson organization.

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