Strange Attractors: Poems of Love and Mathematics

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Sarah Glaz, Joanne Growney
Taylor & Francis, Oct 27, 2008 - Mathematics - 255 pages
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Strange Attractors is a collection of approximately 150 poems with strong links to mathematics in content, form, or imagery. The common theme is love, and the editors draw from its various manifestations—romantic love, spiritual love, humorous love, love between parents and children, mathematicians in love, love of mathematics. The poets include literary masters as well as celebrated mathematicians and scientists.

"What, after all, is mathematics but the poetry of the mind, and what is poetry but the mathematics of the heart?" So wrote the American mathematician and educator David Eugene Smith. In a similar vein, the German mathematician Karl Weierstrass declared, "A mathematician who is not at the same time something of a poet will never be a full mathematician." Most mathematicians will know what they meant. But what do professional poets think of mathematics?

In this delightful collection, the editors present the view of the same terrain—the connections between mathematics and poetry—from the other side of the equation: the poets. Now is your chance to see if the equation balances.

—Keith Devlin, mathematician, Stanford University, and author of The Math Gene, The Math Instinct, and The Language of Mathematics

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About the author (2008)

Sarah Glaz is a professor of mathematics at the University of Connecticut and author of Commutative Coherent Rings and other books and articles in commutative algebra. She has had a lifelong interest in poetry, having served on the editorial board of Ibis Review, a literary magazine, and published several of her poems and translations in periodicals.

JoAnne Growney was a professor of mathematics at Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania for a number of years. During this time, she began to write and collect poetry with mathematical themes or structures. She now lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, where she continues her writing and is involved in DC-area poetry activities. You can read her growing math-poetry collection at

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