Tag Archives: Bach

Goldbach Variations

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Goldbach’s Conjecture is an (as yet) unsolved mathematical conundrum which proposes that every integer greater than 2 can be expressed as the sum of two prime numbers.

Although I am a complete dunce at algebra (fractions, simple addition and subtraction as well, to be honest), the philosophical aspect of mathematical problems fascinates me. The Goldbach Conjecture particulary tickles my fancy because it lends itself so easily to the emotional plane of human experience. While Apostolos Doxiadis had explored this in his wonderful novel Uncle Petros and Goldbach’s Conjecture, I haven’t seen any poetry written on the subject, so I thought I’d give it a go.

These three poems are about the possibilities and improbabilities of love.

Goldbach’s Conjecture is mathematics, which made me think of Bach, which brought me in a somewhat roundabout, but to my mind boolean way to the Golberg Variations.

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 I

To an Unruly and Most Turbulent Heart

Unruly and most turbulent heart

sought solace in Mathematics, not in Art.

Rules and rigorous stricture desired,

solutions elegant, logic required.

A life cloaked in reason quantified

by numbers, clean angles, reason applied.

No poetry, no books, no colors nor song,

with numbers and facts, what could ever go wrong?

The nimble fey wench on a moonbeam danced by;

creature improbable dropped from the sky,

who spoke in lyrics of flowers and wine,

of music, of starred skies, of stories divine.

Unruly heart laughed, let moonbeams inside,

Love’s lunar blossom burst sweet, open and wide. 

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II

Leaps of Faith

A mathematician I once knew, Kelly T. opined that religious evangelists and lovers are only surpassed by mathemeticians in their ability to make great leaps of faith.

Which is the greater leap of faith?

…accepting the infinite decimals of pi?

Or

…the certainty that pie is invariably delicious?

…entertaining the idea that one day, someone will be able to square Euclid’s circle?

Or

…acknowledging love’s presence without parameters, definition or explanation?

…the possibility of Lychrel numbers?

Or

the conviction that all souls are connected to a greater whole?

The formerly hypothetical Higgs boson particle was confirmed to exist in March 2013.

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 III

Oh Blaise!

The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing”

Blaise Pascal

Before we met,

that day I sat behind you

sun glorious late summer washed over the walls

and floors

of the classroom,

The air was heavy with honeysuckle

and goldenrod.

A clock ticked away the afternoon

in hypnotic morpheus rhythm.

Against a windowpane, a single bee buzzed,

wheeling, reeling, pollen intoxicated

trapped by his own foolish gluttony.

Feeling somewhat sleepy,

opiated with equations and integers

as drunk on pollen as the bee,

I might have buried my face in your hair,

to breathe in all of you at once.

I loved the scent,

cypress, patchouli and pine,

slipping from the mobius tangled weight

of your tumbling locks,

though I had yet to see your face

or hear you speak.

* Images found at Google

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