Teaching and writing mathematics have drawn JoAnne Growney to write poems that use mathematical imagery in a variety of ways.  Included here (below) are "Good Fortune," "Changing Colors" and "Geometry Demonstration."   You may also link to "San Antonio, January, 1993" or "Can a Mathematician See Red?"

         Another source of math-poetry links is an article, MATHEMATICS IN POETRY, published Ocober 2006 in JOMA.  Also, you may find math-poetry by poets other than JoAnne at the link THEIR math poems--which includes titles and links to some of JoAnne's favorites of OTHER PEOPLE'S POEMS that use mathematical imagery --and Math forms poems--which includes math-poetry ideas related to poetic structure. 



Good Fortune

is good numbers --

the length of a furrow,

the count of years,

the depth of a broken heart,

the cost of camouflage,

the volume of tears.


Changing Colors



yoyo --


stopping / starting,,

rising / plummeting,

seeking self-control.  Please,

mother-friend-lover-child, don't

pull string.  Let me collect myself.


I climb high above the treetops,

soar with the golden eagle,

linger on fleecy clouds.

My path encircles

other orbits --





In CHANGING COLORS the numbers of syllables in consecutive lines

are consecutive positive integers.     Here we have


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Geometry Demonstration

Yesterday, some visitors

interrupted geometry class --

angry voices raged around the room,

unwilling to stay caged within my head

while I spoke enthusiastically

of axioms of incidence,

placements of parallels,

numbers of degrees

in the angles of rectangles.



Wake up.  This is not difficult --

no hungry mouths to feed, no

bleeding wounds to heal.  Adopt

a polygonal attitude.  Examine

an assumption.  Abandon the postulate

that says, don't ever question.

You were not born knowing.

Your mind won't get dirty

on a tangent of hyperbolic thought.



Open up.

Let one eye watch

the parallels

that meet.

Shift to a point

of perspectivity.

Draw those lines

that cross

at your heart.


My students ignored these stirring voices,

so I dismissed them and went on--

rightly coaxing obtuse angles

to square up

and respond.


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 You also may link to "A Mathematician's Nightmare" or "My Dance is Mathematics" (a poem to honor algebraist Emmy Noether).   These latter poems are included in a lovely little collection of mathematical poems, My Dance is Mathematics; a printing error caused the second printing to be recalled by Paper Kite Press, but paper copies are availble from JoAnne and the poems are online HERE