Skip to main content

Mandelbrot Has Died



A genius of mathematics - the literal visionary who allowed us all to see the world anew - Mandelbrot has died.  Fractals inspired countless writers, artists, as well as scientists.  Here is a link to Alice Fulton's essay on Fractals in poetry.




The Death of Mandelbrot

Within shape the shape in-widens
its own owning of imagination
the slice of ginger gingerly slid off a knife
as each blade is the lawn, as fern informs
infernal logic, fanning out sloughing
green.  Lightning makes its mark marking sky-light.
Snow flakes off snow to make and break ice small
and right, hot at heart with the thump of delight –
each jag and messy turn or spin a boomerang
that bangs back the yin.  I think
I cannot understand how all spreads:
peacock's flamboyance, shell's hard-luck contours,
a brilliant argument of whorls –
contains its own brand making as the hand made

fingertip's twirling private name speaking
breaking into bigger complications
that turn small and smaller, snick down.
Unnatural how nature snarls out its fame:
ridges and rivulets flame,
plucking the pane’s rain-dance open -
burn and drop both strewn
with numerate dazzling –
coast of legerdemain curling
deepness up to origin again.
Bolts of whiteness crack but will not strain.
Whitennes bolting does
force alight music
alert to straining crackles, curvaceous night.

poem by Todd Swift

(revised version from original post)
2 comments

Popular posts from this blog

AMERICA PSYCHO

According to the latest CBS, ABC, etc, polls, Clinton is still likely to beat Trump - by percentile odds of 66% to 33% and change. But the current popular vote is much closer, probably tied with the error of margin, around 44% each. Trump has to win more key battleground states to win, and may not - but he is ahead in Florida...

We will all know, in a week, whether we live in a world gone madder, or just relatively mad.

While it seems likely calmer heads will prevail, the recent Brexit win shows that polls can mislead, especially when one of the options is considered a bit embarrassing, rude or even racist - and Trump qualifies for these, at least.

If 42-45% of Americans admit they would vote for Trump, what does that say about the ones not so vocal? For surely, they must be there, as well. Some of the undecided will slide, and more likely they will slide to the wilder and more exciting fringe candidate. As may the libertarians.

Eyewear predicts that Trump will just about manage to win th…

DANGER, MAN

Like a crazed killer clown, whether we are thrilled, horrified, shocked, or angered (or all of these) by Donald Trump, we cannot claim to be rid of him just yet. He bestrides the world stage like a silverback gorilla (according to one British thug), or a bad analogy, but he is there, a figure, no longer of fun, but grave concern.

There has long been a history of misogynistic behaviour in American gangster culture - one thinks of the grapefruit in the face in The Public Enemy, or Sinatra throwing a woman out of his hotel room and later commenting he didn't realise there was a pool below to break her fall, or the polluted womb in Pacino'sScarface... and of course, some gangsta rap is also sexist.  American culture has a difficult way with handling the combined aspects of male power, and male privilege, that, especially in heteronormative capitalist enclaves, where money/pussy both become grabbable, reified objects and objectives (The Wolf of Wall Street for instance), an ugly fus…

OSCAR SMOSHCAR

The Oscars - Academy Awards officially - were once huge cultural events - in 1975, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr, Shirley MacLaineandBob Hope co-hosted, for example - and Best Picture noms included The Conversation and Chinatown. Godfather Part 2 won. Last two years, movies titled Birdman and Spotlight won, and the hosts and those films are retrospectively minor, trifling. This year, some important, resonant films are up for consideration - including Hidden Figures and Moonlight, two favourites of this blog. Viola Davis and Denzel Washington will hopefully win for their sterling performances in Fences. However, La La Land - the most superficial and empty Best Picture contender since Gigi in 1959 (which beat Vertigo) - could smite all comers, and render this year's awards historically trivial, even idiotic.

The Oscars often opt for safe, optimistic films, or safe, pessimistic films, that are usually about white men (less often, white women) finding their path to doing the right thin…