Poem: Mathematics Sets Sail
Science in meter and verse
Edited by Dava Sobel
As though time could have a hobby
we speak in eigenvalues, the harmonious
oscillations in the green flash before sunset.
We interpret raised to the power to mean
you were taken in by numbers
as a young babe & your childhood
can be classified irrational. Euclid,
Euler, the empty set's a nest atop a piling.
If two words diverge on the open seas &
the dot product is without derivative, the intercept
can be found only by Venn diagrams on the tongue.
Swallowed by wave functions, turning back, theorems
to explain the circumference of illusion, good heavens,
the sailboat's isosceles never goes slack.
This article was originally published with the title "Mathematical Glossolalia" in Scientific American 322, 2, 26 (February 2020)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Jennifer Gresham is a Ph.D. scientist, a U.S. Air Force veteran and founder of Work for Humanity. She lives in Seattle. Credit: Nick Higgins
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