The Mathematics of Poetry

Poetry and Math was always a paradox. We wanted to break down the differences
between the two and show that actually there’s a lot of similarities A lot of
the kinds of questions that are on the table for poetry are also on the table
for mathematicians Poetry is all about creativity and Maths is – you leave something
for a few days and when you go back to it you suddenly you realise your
subconscious has done some work on it and you’re not quite sure where you get those ideas It was remarkable how similar it is for both sets of people to be kind of
reaching for things that are right on the edges of human cognition I felt like waves of more close to the workshop or to the poetry sometimes more close to the mathematics Free discussion about the poems from each other was very nice It was so much fun to see how quickly they developed a critical language for workshopping all the other poems and and became
very confident in expressing their opinions about poetry. I’m tempted to see
when with collaboration if that’s not something you could also do when you
collaborate with maths papers, to kind of improve how maths papers feel One of the
things that’s been really interesting to me in this project is thinking a lot
about sets and what counts as one or how we think about what belongs
together sort of numerically or characteristically The idea of infinity
that’s one that’s come up quite a lot and kind of the idea that you can have
different sizes of infinity which just blew my mind I kind of forgot this feeling of excitement that is non-mathematicians
discovering this new symbol I think oh there’s meaning behind it and it was
quite a nice to see them all excited about it and trying to use it. I’ve always enjoyed the cross-pollination between the two disciplines how one has
influenced the other and how collaborative they the project has been
and both sides have worked equally together to produce these amazing poems It’s not
just experimental jabs it’s you know people very much developing their
practice and talking about things that mean a great deal to them Poetry is
always changing and it is always new lessons and there were a lot of lessons
for me in the workshop. It made me think a bit more
about how to explain maths which is a kind of always something in the
forefront of my mind

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