Eveline Pye has an international reputation for mathematical and scientific poetry and is the only poet ever to be published in Significance, the joint magazine of the Royal Statistical Society and the American Statistical Society. She was an invited poet at Bridges Conferences on mathematical poetry in Sweden, Finland, Netherlands, USA and Canada and will be reading at the University of Linz, Austria, in July 2019. She was mentored by Liz Lochhead under the Clydebuilt scheme. Her collection, Smoke That Thunders, was published by Mariscat Press (2015) and, from it, the poem 'Mosi-Oa-Tunya' was chosen for the 20 Best Scottish Poems of that year. Her second pamphlet, STEAM, is to be published by Red Squirrel and features poems on science, technology, engineering and mathematics, the STEM subjects.
The last place for a waterfall, no mountains or valleys, horizons flat as summer seas, then from thirty miles, a white tower of spray punctures the blue sky. Closer, you hear thunder, though there is no storm, see double rainbows, bright bridges across air, feel a welcome drizzle in searing, blistering heat. Closer, you part a bush, stand on the edge of a chasm; the wide Zambezi glides forward, then plunges deep into a wound in the earth’s crust, a break in basalt. The ground trembles with shock, you shout but hear nothing except a raging roar as solid water explodes up in your face, blinds you, engulfs you. Down in the Devil’s Cataract, the river cuts frantic zigzags through deep gorges until it pours into a pool where a dead hippo bounces up like a rubber ball.
From Smoke That Thunders (Mariscat, 2015)
Mosi-oa-Tunya: Victoria Falls, transl. ‘Smoke that Thunders’