After my last post about one-syllable math, I tried my hand at a proof of the math fact of Rolle in short words. The constraints and focus on words themselves got me thinking about mathematics in a way I usually don’t: is “length” or “range” a better one-syllable description of a bounded interval? One thing led to another, and soon friends were sharing not only their monosyllabic proofs but also their sonnets about the Bolzano-Weierstrass theorem and Euclid’s definition of same ratio. My love for mathematical poetry is well documented, but today I want to share one of my favorite poetry blogs that isn’t about math.
Don’t get too worried: it’s about astronomy, and the two disciplines have a long history together. Mathematics is certainly necessary for astronomy, and astronomy motivated the development of much mathematics. With that justification, I’d like to introduce you to tychogirl by Christine Rueter. Her poetry combines images from space with spare, arresting text.
Rueter often make scenes from the history of space exploration visceral. This one, written in honor of the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission that landed on the moon, just grabbed me.
As with all poetry, I can’t explain what I love about Rueter’s work, but it sometimes gives me goosebumps. So I hope you’ll pardon the digression from mathematics and take a look at tychogirl.