The Man Who Counted, by Malba Tahan. Introduced to many math concepts, I
became entranced by the pattern found in perfect numbers. The perfect number sequence is, 1+2+3=6, 1+2+4+7+14=28, if you want more of a challenge you can continue the sequence, with 1+2+4+8+16+31+62+124+248=496.
An alteration I later created to the formula yields a less intimidating form. It uses the number of letters in each word instead of the number of words in each sentence to represent the numbers in the perfect numbers sequence. Like the reality in the first
version of being limited to the first three sequences, in this formula you can not go above the first two sequences. 1, 2, 3, = 6 and 1, 2, 4, 7, 14, =28
I couldn’t resist using the 28 letter word so I included the perfect numbers in this version. the equals sign is not necessary, I just added it in these two poems. Here are my mathematical poems.
I am you = Riddle.
I vs. them; religion, macroevolution = antidisestablishmentarianism.
I am ion = metal.
I am EDTA reduced malcontentedly = ethylenediaminetetraacetates.
(Salie Davis, April, 2009)
This new form could be the next universally recognized mathematical formula for constrained mathematical poetry! Feel free to come up with your own constraints to literary art, your constraints may too. It is the inspiration that mathematics has to offer, even the poet, that will determine the future of the mathematical literature and poetic culture.