Mathematicians and Poets – Two of a Kind?

Mathematicians and Poets – Two of a Kind?

"A mathematician who is not even something of a poet will never be a complete mathematician." – Karl Weierstrass

C'mon a mathematician who's a poet! Give me a break. Is not that as compatible as a snake and a mongoose? You mean there really is some truth in the quote by Weierstrass, one of the most famous mathematicians of all time, who is probably responsible for the rigors of calculus? Indeed mathematics has a rhythmic structure which, when probed, reveals its poetic and musical beauty. And any person who masters this discipline rightfully then should be considered as something of a poet.

When my Spanish II professor suggested that I go to Salamanca, Spain to study Castilian, I was pleasantly surprised. She had recommended that I go because of my outstanding performance in her class and because I had shown such an interest interest in the subject. To this recommendation, I replied that I was a mathematics major who also loved -ides foreign languages-the classics in literature as well as the sciences. To this, the professor replied, "So you're a modern day renaissance man."

Many people think that those who excel in mathematics tend to shun things like art and literature. Mathematics, they think, is too rigorous a subject, and any who suchbraces, could not possibly have the softer emotional side to embrace such flowery subjects like art and literature. Yet this is not true at all. Because mathematics has an inherent rhythmicity to its structure, mathematicians are really quite sensitive to the humanities like art and music. Even in the structure of poem, with its varied meters and rhyming schemes, can be found the essence of mathematics.

Given the above considerations, a person should not feel awkward at being both mathematician and poet. Nor should one feel any wonder at how easily math ability translates into poetic ability: how one can compose poems of varying lengths, meters, and rhyming schemes because of a predisposition towards math. You see, this creative ability all comes naturally to the mathematically inclined person. And who knows how many of the world's greatest poets were great mathematicians? So parents, if your son our daughter shows a flair for poetry, bear in mind that you might have a budding mathematician on your hands. And those that have children who are great at math, who knows? -you might very well have on your hands a world class poet.

Source by Joe Pagano