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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)

Comments

martine said…
Really love the convoluted images connected in your poem, though I did have to look up 'legerdemain', particularly:
"as fern informs
infernal logic, fanning out"
you definitely caught something of the fractal with your words.
thanks for sharing
martine
Anonymous said…
Great poem, Todd! I'll share it with Mike, my poet-mathematician in residence...

Nancy Mattson xx

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