Turbulence in Action: Toward a Fractal Poetry

Anderson, Zachary
Mathematics and poetry are often regarded as two contradictory, if not incompatible, fields of study. This is not the case, as poetry is structured through mathematical series and repetitions. Furthermore, mathematics and poetry are both fundamentally systems of relations among distinct terms where meaning is a result of variations in these relations. The purpose of this creative study is to synthesize mathematical and poetical principles into a substantial poem. The basis for this synthesis is fractal geometry. On the critical side of this study, I have assembled a foundation of theory from poets such as Alice Fulton who have attempted to write fractal poetry or otherwise synthesize mathematics and poetry. For the primary, creative aspect of this study, I wrote an epic in miniature that reimagines Sir Lancelot in the modern age, using the main elements of fractal poetry (turbulence, chaos, self-similarity). This study has revealed that it is possible to create fractal-based poetry. However, it seems that in order to do so, one must conceive of the fractal in looser terms than pure mathematics.
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