Sunday, September 30, 2018

September Challenge - Math Poem Winners

Photo by Silvia Corradin

The September Poetry Challenge was for poems related to mathematics and/or arithmetic. There were a number of clever entries. Congratulations to the first place winner, Marina Manoukian, and to the second place winners, Deetje J. Wildes and Kristin Procter. The three poems are very different. The  judge was Linda Wallin, whose poem was used in the previous post.

We will start with the second place poems.

Measuring Marigolds

I recall the inchworm song.
Sang it with a friend years ago.
Two and two are four,
Four and four are eight, 
Eight and eight are sixteen .  .  .

I measure time.
The year I graduated.
The year I met my husband.
Our fiftieth anniversary.
The day he died.

by Deetje J. Wildes

The judge liked the turn in this poem, which gave it emotional punch.

Love and Arithmetic
(a Fibonacci Poem)

teach a poet’s heart?
What good is eleven in love?

- Kristin Procter

The judge felt that this poem made good use of the form, in which the number of syllables per line is determined by the Fibonacci sequence.

The winning poem is presented as a series of equations which, as Linda Wallin says, do a good job of describing an important aspect of the human condition. Here it is:

How to stop asking about variables and instead notice function

1. If x = the earth
1a. x² = the earth spinning on its own axis

2. And y = the sun
2a. xy = the earth orbiting the sun

3. And x² + xy = the seasons

4. Then f (x² + xy) = how we change with the seasons.

~ Marina Manoukian

Each poet whose work is published on this blog retains rights to his or her own poem.

Marina Manoukian is a reader and writer living in Berlin. Working towards a Master of English Philology, she likes bees and loves honey. Find more of her work at

Kristin Procter lives in Massachusetts, where she collaborates on workshops and open mics for motherwriters. Her writing has been published in Mom Egg Review3Elements, and Understory, as well as in anthologies.

Deetje J. Wildes is an enthusiastic member of Western Wisconsin Christian Writers Guild. She enjoys making music and experimenting with visual arts.

Check back tomorrow afternoon or evening for the October Challenge.

© Wilda Morris