"… as symbols play in pure sound’s bright
flare. White-hot words ignite
a sharp savor, the bite, the risk,
an ordinate of bliss."
– E. R. Lutken
Manifold: poetry of mathematics
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Praise for Manifold:
This elegant volume roams the borderland between language and math, along the way invoking Doobie Brothers and the ancient Greeks, Emmy Noether and Sergio Leone. E. R. Lutken’s poems are alternately playful and mournful, geometric and oceanic. Math here becomes a solace and a wonder: in the face of loss, Lutken instructs us, “clench the knife-edge of a solvable equation by the teeth/ and proceed.”
Karen Olsson – author, The Weil Conjectures
We are finite but can dream of infinity; we are flawed but can glimpse perfection. Wry, poignant, and funny, E. R. Lutken’s poems show us that mathematics—like human beings, with our partly-patterned lives—is both earthy and celestial. A delight.
Cris Moore – faculty Santa Fe Institute –with NM PBS, The Majesty of Music and Math
If Poetry uses word play to express the deeper realities of life and if Mathematics uses number play to reveal the deeper realities in the universe of number, then it is not surprising that on some deep level the two have an intimate connection and the one can serve as a source of inspiration for the other. This insight motivated E. R. Lutken to craft a collection of poems that are wonderfully inspired, derived from underlying mathematical themes and results. As a mathematician I personally found the poems intriguing and insightful especially as they unite two seemly diverse yet, upon reflection, very creative disciplines. E. R. Lutken’s work demonstrates that mathematics can provide an entrée into the beauty and creativity of poetry and conversely, that poetry can provide an entrée into the wonder of mathematics.
Brian Shelburne – Professor Emeritus Mathematics and Computer Science, Wittenberg University