Poetry and Mathematics

Earlier this year, I wrote an essay for the Thomas Campion Essay Prize held by Peterhouse College, Cambridge, and having been fortunate enough to be among 10 winners from over 200 entrants, I thought I’d share my thoughts on the blog…

From a range of questions, I chose number four:

In that poetry is always patterned language, we may say that poetry is language tending towards mathematics.’ Discuss some examples of poetic patterning in the light of this judgement.

Considering poetic patterning in three areas (the rhythmic, the phonetic, and the syntactical), I argue that “[a]s a convergent sum ‘tending towards’ a value comes infinitely close yet never reaches it, poetry and mathematics cannot be seen as synonymous due to several fundamental distinctions”. If by some miracle you’re still interested in the essay, it can be found below!

Click here to read the essay.

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