Monday, 23 May 2011

Mathematical poetry 1.

Now, I'm sure I could spend a long time gushing over the various ways the people have tried to encapsulate the beauty of mathematical ideas through inspiring prose. Indeed, there are such things called "Piems", which are used to remind the reciter as to the digits of Pi. Each word is the length of the corresponding number in the decimal expansion. Here is a very impressive example called "Poe, E: Near a Raven" (3.1415). Not only does it allow you to calculate Pi to its 740th decimal place but it has used Edgar Allan Poe's poem "The Raven" as the subject matter.

I could mention Fibs which, like a haiku, is formed by each line having an exact number of syllables. In this case the number of syllables correspond to the Fibonacci sequence. This form of poetry even has  its own journal.

I could even mention that more and more artists, muscians and writers are turning to mathematics in order find inspiration to create aesthetic pieces.

However, I'm not going to do any of that as this is the blog of the laughing mathematician. I'm here to take a lighter look at the mathematical world and that is exactly what I'm going to do. Here you will find mathematical ditties, limericks and even a poem that solves a logic puzzle! What more could you want?

So without further ado, here are a couple of my favourite limericks.

The integral z-squared dz,
from 1 to the cube root of 3,
times the cosine,
of three pi over nine
equals log of the cube root of e
-- Attributed to Betsy Devine and Joel E. Cohen

A mathematician confided,
that a Moebius strip is one-sided.
You'll get quite a laugh,
if you cut it in half.
For it stays in one piece when divided.
-- Anon

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