Thursday, July 27, 2017

Summer Poetry Pop-Up: JoAnne Growney

 Which Girl Am I?   
            by JoAnne Growney

          The girl who’s not forced to divide
          into the good girl and the real one
          is a lucky one.  I was eleven
          when I felt a crack begin.
          In time I fully split — two minds
          took on two heads, two faces,
          two cuts of hair.  Mock feelings
          serve as well as true ones,
          I told myself — but buried parts
          still surface like cicadas in their year.

          Long division is difficult
          and plagued with remainders.

          A girl with two heads
          is like a bird with one wing.

Note: This poem came out of a cooperative ekphrastic venture with Silver Spring sculptor, Mark Behme – he bravely lent me his sculpture "Split Tales” and, living with it, I discovered its connection to mathematics – and the poem.  The poem was first published in “Intersections:  Poetry with Mathematics” in 2014 

Since childhood JoAnne Growney has loved poetry and found some time for enjoying it during lots of years of studying and teaching mathematics.  Both her childhood and her teaching took place in Pennsylvania but in 2005 she relocated to Silver Spring, MD to be near family, especially her grandchildren.  A lot of her poems, relate to mathematics. She also has a blog, “Intersections:  Poetry with Mathematics” at

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