Friday, May 13, 2016

Ode to a Circle

Ode to a Circle
One of Michal Krasnopolski's cool
minimalist movie posters.

First seen in nature
spreading waves from a stone
or seen in the sky as sun
and moon, perfect essence of round.

As soon as we knew distance
we knew it as a kind
of a unity
from the center.

We named aspects
of interaction,
chord and secant, arc, sector
radius, diameter.

Thales found great beauty within,
the first theorems with
the birth of our dear
right triangle.

And then bound by
number with surprise
as the fundamental
Pythagorean sum.

Trigonometry within,
called out by Hipparchus,
but glimpsed by Euclid,

These lead to a
science of the rhythm,
Fourier's analysis,

Built upon the beauty bare,
of a series approach
as Euler alone
saw you in e.

-John Golden

I don't know where this idea came from exactly, but it was a Thales kind of week, with the start of my math history course, Dan Meyer trying an activity in Desmos and my son studying circles in geometry.

Looking for a movie poster, I found those cool minimalist images. Fellowship of the Ring would have been a good name for this poem!

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