Below are some examples of the maths poetry I write.
Note: I had some slight difficulty formatting the equations for the internet, so some of them don't look as intelegable as they should. Contact me if you want to see a properly formeted version.
Copying Right Sonja Dengler 2017. All Rights Reserved.
Arithmetic is the feeling
in your fingers as you use them
to count, the numbers running up
your sleeve to find space in your head.
Arithmetic is when patterns
start to make no sense even though
you can see them right in front of
your eyes because you are trying
too hard. Arithmetic is what
you’re tested on when you are young.
Arithmetic is how people
choose if you’re going to be good
at Maths. But really, it is
the reason calculators were
invented. Arithmetic is
not the preoccupation of
proper mathematicians like
you and me. What we deal with is
everything else. Things that would crack
the screen of your calculator
and make the buttons stick. What will
happen when a ball’s hurled into
the air? When’ll the next rain shower
fall on East London? How many
numbers can you add up before
a fissure splits reality?
What happens if you put a time
bomb inside a formula? How
to make a graph explode. And what
happens when arithmetic won’t
behave: when information flits
across the internet and when
four plus four does not equal eight.
 The sum in the title: 4 + 4 = 8 is the number of syllables per line in the poem.
They flap in the wind, equations
snagged on trees, all discarded
like old plastic bags, full of holes.
They blow and bump across the road,
are lifted into the air for
a moment, turn before they are
stepped into a muddy puddle
with the iridescent twists of
petrol swirling about on top.
They will take an eternity
to be decomposed, forgotten.
Who needs equations anymore?
They do not alter anything,
just sum up a fraction of the
universe in a few symbols.
They flap in the wind, equationssnagged on trees, all discarded.
 2x^2 - 32x + 128 = 0 is a quadratic equation, meaning the highest power of is two. An equation of this form can be solved either by factorization or using the quadratic formula. The solution x = 8 is the number of syllables per line in the poem
take mathematics by
hand, watch the candlelight play in
Smile. She pulls
away and stands up. Dumbfounded you
see the tears trickling down her face.
“Wait…” you try to call out to her.
She is walking away. “Wait!”
She is outside
her hair trying to escape into
the wind. Smiling back at you, she
is speaking: “You know a human could
understand all mathematics.
You did well, but
you were always going to fail.”
walks straight through you
into the wind. Gone.
Someone you loved. For a moment
you forget who you are.
Forget the foundation of the
Forget that four
plus four is
always eight. And your head
spins and you stagger
and know you will not see
Such blasphemy. You know you should
there, leave mathematics well
alone. But the feeling that
from you head
when you first saw her will not leave your
the discovery filling
your chest. The laughter and tears you shared
exploring her world. Reaching for
a pen you choose to
fight once more. Poring over
maths textbooks, used paper
round your feet as you examine,
calculate and prove things
before. Reaching for
to Number Theory. You stare in
disbelief. But the proof
rigorous. Looking up you
at you. Looking down you
see that four plus
four is not always eight.
 The golden ratio is an irrational number (that is a number that cannot be expressed as a fraction, so has an infinite non-repeating decimal expansion) which appears throughout mathematics and the real world including classical architecture and art. It is the ratio between the sides of a regular pentagon and the length of a line drawn inside to make a five-pointed star, that is a/b = phi in the diagram.
It also has many other mathematical properties, including the regularity of its other representations as well as being the ratio between two Fibonacci numbers as gets very big (tends to infinity). The digits of phi = 1.61803... are the number of syllables per line in this poem, although not going on forever.
Copyright Sonja Dengler 2017. All Rights Reserved.
Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed those.
Again you can find more in the Newcastle University Creative Writing Society Anthology 2016/17 here.
And do not hesitate to contact me if you'd like to read even more. Or just with questions and stuff.
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