“Without Mathematics There is No Art” – Luca Pacioli


What a grandiose claim.

I’m personally offended, Sir.

Maths has nothing to do with poetry.


(That’s not true, of course, but I’m allowed to say it

– It’s called poetic license – )


That’s the strange thing about language

It never does quite what you expect,

and therein lies the rub. Poets don’t want to be predictable

and numbers always are.


The golden mean, having been discovered, and rediscovered, and renamed, over several centuries

is one of the greatest numbers there is


Da Vinci’s sectio aurea

Luca Pacioli’s Divine Proportion


The simple symbol Phi

for the Greek artist and architect Phideas

who died in exile, falsely accused

of stealing the gold for a statue of the virgin Goddess Athena

inside the Parthenon


Phi is present

in The Last Supper

in veins, leaves, and nerves

in Da Vinci, Dali, and Corbusier

in the geometry of stone

and in the magnetic resonance of spins in cobalt niobate crystals


It is the closest reason I have ever been given

for believing in God


So, poet, you may yell all you like

about licenses, and numbers, and words with exponential meaning.

But the ages do not listen to you


And perhaps when you learn

of the life given by an organ

from someone else’s body

you may rememeber


That silence is golden.

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