Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Place Value Poems by Gregory Vincent St. Thomasino

Professor St. Thomasino has developed a new structure for Mathematical poetry that I will add to the taxonomy in the side bar of this blog. What he has done is mapped the decimal notation system “onto” a sentence or set of phrases to “Place value” on the phrases. Focusing attention to the syntax of the poem. Here is an example of one of his poems called “Molotov’s Sister”:

a blonde bomber,she.smokes filterless,plays upright bass & writes haiku

Notice the decimal point and the commas. The commas delineate the digit/phrases in the poem and the decimal denotes where the decimal exists in this number. In essence we have the set of phrases that would equate to the following 100 x a blonde bomber, 10 x she . 1/10 x smokes filterless, 1/100 times plays upright bass & writes haiku

I have created a visual counter-part to the poem so that you can see the dynamic range of meaning mapped to each phrase. (images above)

The first image gives you the size differences in each decimal place and the second image groups the poem in detail so that it is readable.

Clowning Around With Euler

Euler's Formula

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Craig Damrauer

I just ran across a new math poet who seems to be getting some good attention and has an interview featured here. Much of Craig Damrauer’s work seems to be inspired by his relationship to his family and his surroundings. I find a lot of his stuff to be whimsical yet there are a few that are philosophical. Most of the work is arithmetic yet there are a few orthogonal space poems which would fit under the category of algebraic pieces. (This reminds me I need to put a category in my taxonomy for arithmetic poetry)
I have some examples below of his work:

I think my favorite is the one below.

some exponents for your consumption

Here (below) is an orthogonal space poem

The next one reminds me of one of my pieces which equates value proportional to need.

400 bucks?

To see more of his work check out his site here at this link

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Disappearing Context

If you are not familiar with "Similar Triangle Poems" please read this link before going further.

One of the things that excite me the most about mathematical poetry is the fact that one can mathematically merge poems into each other. The results of these operations are extremely interesting in how the context of the common variable disappears. Or in other words the common context that both poems share … disappears. This is a feature that no other poetic form can accomplish and we are going to accomplish it in this blog entry. One can perform this feat on multiple mathematical poems however we are going to show how it is done on just two. The first thing that one needs to have ready is at least two poems that share a common “variable” or “term.” In our example (above) we have the common context of “money”. In other words both mathematical poems share a common term in the form of a word, in this case money. In the first poem we have the idea that Man is to Blood as God is to Money and simultaneously we have the idea that Man is to God as Blood is to Money.** In addition we have the second poem which states that The Victor is to “Honor in War” as Money is to “Righteous Effort” And Simultaneously it says The Victor is to Money as “Honor in War” is to “Righteous Effort”

Now let’s solve both poems for the term “Money”

The image above shows both poems ‘solved’ for money. Since both poems are now in the form of being equal to money then we now must set both poems equal to each other. By setting them equal to each other we have merged the two poems together and everything is still logically intact. The image below shows both poems set equal to each other.

Now that we have the two poems merged into one let’s look at how the meaning has been changed by the reformation. Let us solve the new poem for the term “Honor in War” and see how it reads.

Wow! This poem reads right out of a Patriots Bible yet the two poems that created it were both cynical and possibly sarcastic in relation to the Patriot's beliefs. Once the context of money was taken out we have an entirely new situation. This reminds me of how a person can be consciously holding back a lie yet, speaks dancing truths all around the lie. In this case the money is the lie.

**Also an interesting feature of Mathematical Poetry is that all the different possible syntax structures in a poem exist at the same time therefore when you read a mathematical poem, in each of their different syntax states, the temporal meaning of the poem fills up much like a glass of water when you turn on the faucet.

Meeting Karl Kempton

I met the visual poet Karl Kempton face to face for the first time last weekend (he is on the right). My wife and I experienced a wonderful dinner/picnic with Karl and his wife on the shore of Pismo beach. He gave me a stack of his books and publications to read. It was a grand meeting however; it went by way too fast. Here is a shot (above) of Karl and I located in the beautiful garden designed by Ruth Kempton.
Here is a link to one of my favorite essays of his.

Friday, September 11, 2009

A man's intelligence

I once said that a man’s intelligence flows inversely proportional to the levels of alchol and testosterone in his system.

Just recently some scientific validation came in the form of this link

The 2005 poem below was inspired by the relationship expressed above.

Visit the National Gallery of Writing