So another week passed by, and I realized we are still waiting for nicer weather. Maybe I spoke too soon last week. Each day takes us through the seasons of the year, as we wake up to sunny skies, spring-y weather, shifting to some rains later, resulting in a winter chill settling in for the night. So as I, and maybe you too, wait for the weather to shift, I decided I cannot go wrong with sharing a slice of wonderful pie (poetry pie, that is)! Or pi, for after all, it is pi-day today!!
Mathematical Poem or My Slice of Wonderful PiE (Pi!)
This week is not about any specific poetic form, or one that will bring with it a set of rules or elements of the poetic form. Instead, it is about that glorious combination of two wonderful things (at least for me) – math and poetry! And so many of them as well.
I thought this was apt for pi-day… a slice of poetry pie for you.
What is a Mathematical Poem?
So as I mentioned earlier, a mathematical poem does not refer to any specific poetic form, but instead all the wonderful ways the two intersect, combine, meet at angles and curves and sometimes go together forever in parallel lines.
Do you know someone who loves math but not writing? Or the other way around – they adore writing but math mastery seems a myth? Or maybe someone who loves both? Don’t ask me about that other category – those who don’t care for both (though this strategy might be the magical pill that gets them to love both!)
Anyway, if you know anyone like that, then having them write mathematical poems is sure to convert those who don’t like either or both to enjoy both math and poetry; and as for those who love both, writing mathematical poems is sure to be pure joy!!
Mathematical poems can take one of many forms (talk about math itself, use math to talk about life, use math concepts to write the poem, etc). And there are many specific poetic forms that are based on math as well; like Fibonacci poetry, or the OULIPO
And if you come to think of it, math is used (in a way) in all poems with syllabic/word/line/stanza counts (for example, look at the tricube), and even in those with meter.
Tips For Writing Mathematical Poems
Since there are no rules to specify, here are a few tips you can use to get started on your mathematical poetry journey
- Come up with a list of math terms (in algebra, geometry, trig, calculus, and so on). Now write a poem using a subset of those terms. The poem itself can use any form (haiku, limerick, shadorma, etc) or simply be free verse; or use one of those forms I linked earlier
- Write concrete poetry; and since this is to do with math, pick a mathematical one. Maybe a triangle or a diamond (well, that would be a diamante or even the eintou)
- You could use the concept of a magic square in math to write a poem. Instead of the numbers across rows, columns, and even diagonals adding up to the same sum, or other such magical occurrence, you could have words across the rows, columns, diagonals all make sense; and each one reading like a poem
- Write about something in your life, or a journal entry, using math terms
- Do you have a much loved math equation? Or perhaps one you dread? Or pick one of these from a list of 11 Most Beautiful Equations!
A Slice of Wonderful PiE
I pondered over that magical slice
wondered at that perfectly nice
“Is this shape a triangle?”, I asked me…
But I also knew that it could not be.
For wasn’t that pie crust rounded
The one when I bit into, well, sounded
just a little too loud. Wow, it’s yummy!!
I will tell the fam that the pie was crummy..
And oh, before I forget, before you ask
the slice is a sector, the rounded crust an arc
– Vidya Tiru (at @LadyInReadWrites)
References, h/t, and Further Reading on This Slice of Wonderful PiE
- One of the most interesting blogs I found as I looked for mathematical poetry is that of JoAnne Growney, aptly titled Intersections – Poetry with Mathematics. Be sure to check that out as she has so much to read, learn, and enjoy.
- JoAnne Growney further talks about Mathematics in Poetry in this wonderful article; and the examples she uses to illustrate different ideas are so worth a read.
- Kazmier Maslanka identifies five types of mathematical poems on his blog here.
- More Math Poetry for you to read (Harvard.edu)
- And then some more fun math poems here
On My Blog
Another slower blogging week for me. Here are the posts that made it out..
- Sunday Scribblings #63: The Rubaiyat and Being Grateful for Spring
- Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls: 100 Immigrant Women Who Changed The World by Elena Favilli
- Literary Tours and Other Wonderful Themed Tours You Will Love
Elsewhere and On the Home Front
I am trying to keep up with the other bloggers working on the cool Cornerstone Content Blog Challenge this month; and failing at that right now. You can check out the challenge as well as meet all the wonderful bloggers working on it.
On the home front, it is all the same. The weather cannot make up its mind, and so my planned gardening or being out in the backyard time reduced to almost nothing as it was mostly wind-chill even when the sun was out.
And the teens’ school announced that they plan to open in-person hybrid mode in late April (choice-based).
My teens take on this – the restrictions for the hybrid are so much we would rather stay home and continue the virtual lessons since we cannot interact with our classmates much anyways.
Me – At least you can see their faces at a 6 ft distance behind the planned cubicles for each student! And for my older one, it is his senior year so I thought he would be eager to return based on his laments so far; but looks like that is not the case with the planned setup. Fingers crossed things get even better sooner.
On My Blog and Home Front
I hope to churn out reviews and recipes I had planned for a while now. And some book summaries too. Also, a post with my tentative plan for the April A to Z Blog Challenge.
This Week’s Celebrations
Settle in with some coffee or a drink of your choice, for this week’s list is looong!
Literary and Close-to-it Celebrations
- It is International Read To Me Day on the 19th of March
- Followed by World Storytelling Day celebrated annually on or near the Spring Equinox (this year, on the 20th of March). The story of this day is very cool, no pun intended at all! You can read more about it on Wikipedia. And while it normally has a theme each year (2020 was Voyages), I could not find one announced for this year. But I did find this online event that sounds like it would be fun: a Zoom Story Campfire!
- The 21st is French Language Day as well as World Poetry Day (and if you choose to celebrate this by writing a poem, you have so many options to pick from on my blog!)
- We also celebrate puppets and puppetry on the 21st of March through World Puppetry Day. You can check out upcoming events here (Puppeteers of America) and here (UNIMA – a non-governmental branch of UNESCO that founded this day)
Foodies this week can celebrate with
- I have never tried making these but they look wonderful, and am sure will taste great. It is National Lacy Oatmeal Cookie Day on the 18th of March
- And save some of those cookies for the 19th of March; so you can drizzle it on top, for it is National Chocolate Caramel Day
- March 20th celebrates ravioli; definitely one of my favorite ways to eat pasta, for it is National Ravioli Day
- We also celebrate the humble yet important flour on the 20th of March, with World Flour Day
- And to wind up the week, the 21st of March is National California Strawberry Day and National French Bread Day
The National Ones
- Did you think that 2+1=3? Well, on the 15th of March, you would be wrong!! For it is National Everything You Think is Wrong Day on the 15th! And to make it all right (or alright), Everything You Do Is Right Day follows it right after; on March 16th! Uh? Really? Was it intentional, or not? I am thinking I am wrong..
- The 16th is also National Freedom of Information Day
- There is a day to laugh off those awkward moments that crop up when we least expect them; awkward, isn’t it? The 18th is National Awkward Moments Day
- March 18th is also the day to salute those everyday heroes who sacrifice so much; it is National Supreme Sacrifice Day
- We need more of National Let’s Laugh Day (celebrated on the 19th of March). But then again, why do we need a specific day for this? Beats me!
- Like 3/14 is Pi Day, we also have 3/21. You are wondering what it is? Then, let me tell you … ….
- in 3…….
- 1…–> it is National Countdown Day!!
- Sorry if you felt you scrolled down for, well, just that! I should apologize for pulling that prank (in advance for the 21st), for the 21st of March is also National Common Courtesy Day 🙂 But there is more as well.
The International Ones
- Then we have International Day of Happiness on the 20th of March. You can read more here.
- The 21st of March is International Day of Forests. And each of us can certainly find a way to help the forests of our world.
- March 21st also celebrates World Down Syndrome Day; again, because of the date – 3/21. From the WDSD website, ‘The date for WDSD being the 21st day of the 3rd month, was selected to signify the uniqueness of the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome which causes Down syndrome.’
Wrapping up my Sunday Scribblings
So dear reader, this was it for my Sunday Scribblings. I would love to hear your comments on my post(s), poetic Sunday section, and anything else. And which of these days do you plan to celebrate (or any other)? Also, I do look forward to reading your poems (if you have attempted one or the other forms so far?!)