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Sunday Scribblings #116: Math Stories and the Wonderful Zeno’s Paradox (es)?!

When I first read about this particular Zeno’s paradox – the dichotomy paradox – I was intrigued, and awed by the coolness factor of it. And then I discovered this poetic form it inspired. So factor in the point that September 25th is Math Storytelling Day, it made sense to feature this form today while attempting to tell some math stories, or stories with this mathematical poetic form.

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Notepad and a pen over it with a cup of coffee next to it. words read Sunday Scribblings, and this is for Sunday Scribblings #116: Math Stories and the Wonderful Zeno's Paradox (es)?!

Poetic Sundays: The Zeno (Inspired by a Math Story, Kind of)

J. Patrick Lewis invented this poetic form called the Zeno inspired by the mathematical “hailstone sequence”. It is named for Zeno, as the “hailstone sequence” hails from (well, not really, but couldn’t resist) one of Zeno’s paradoxes – the dichotomy paradox. I talk about that concept here. To give you a preview, getting anywhere involves first getting half way there and then again halfway there, and so on infinitely actually.

What is The Zeno Poetic Form?

It is a ten line verse form with a repeating syllable count of 8,4,2,1,4,2,1,4,2,1 with a rhyme scheme of abcdefdghd.

The Zeno’s Characteristics

So the Zeno’s elements are that it is:

  • a poem of 10 lines
  • syllabic: 8/4/2/1/4/2/1/4/2/1
  • rhymed: rhyme scheme is  abcdefdghd

My Attempt at Math Stories

This first one is kind of a recipe fail..but here it is anyways!

She went to get a cherry pie;
craved it, really!
But it’s
fall –
right now, which means
or apples ev’-

~Vidya @ LadyInReadWrites

Shows a notebook ruled page with a cartoon running figure who is almost there. Title is Poetic Sundays: The Zeno Poetic Form - For Sunday Scribblings #116: Math Stories and the Wonderful Zeno's Paradox (es)?!


On My Blog and the Homefront

Looks like I outdid myself this last week!

This past week was getting prepped up the Navratri festival on one hand while dealing with life on a daily basis on the other.

Upcoming (Maybe Some Math Stories too?)

On My Blog and On the Homefront

With this week being Navratri, I have been busy setting up my golu over the weekend and have some final touches to finish it up before sharing pics with you. Here is a pic from last year (and some more in my previous post of the week as well).

Navratri Golu display with interesting stories within.. even some math stories!

My posts will be a countdown of sort towards the end of Navratri (so math stories?) and share something about the festival each day.


Literary Celebrations (close-to-it also!)

Foodie Celebrations

Other Celebrations and Observations

Related Reads

Wrapped Up: My Sunday Scribblings

So dear reader, you have reached the end of this Sunday Scribblings! As always, I welcome your thoughts, comments, and suggestions about this post. Will you be attempting to write the Zeno? Or any other math poem? What do you think of Zeno’s Paradox (es)? And, of course, do let me know if you plan to celebrate any of these mentioned celebrations this coming week/month?

Linking this to the Sunday Post over at the Caffeinated Reviewer and the Sunday Salon

13 thoughts on “Sunday Scribblings #116: Math Stories and the Wonderful Zeno’s Paradox (es)?!

  1. I always love trying to participate in all of the foodie celebrations…October 1 is, of course, my favorite! I love everything pumpkin spice! I have never heard of the Zeno poetic form. I thought your work on that was great!

  2. Super cute cherry pie poem. National name your car day…whaaat lol. Actually I don’t have a nickname for my car so I think I’ll make one!

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