Tag Archives: poem

Turing – Runner up in 2014 #MatrixPoetryAwards Science Category

I’m delighted once again to have picked up honours at the 2014 MATRIX Poetry Competition. This year I was runner up in Category One, open to people with a science/technology background, with my poem “Turing“.

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The competition was judged and award presented by respected poet and retired academic Professor Ignatius (Iggy) McGovern. The Award ceremony was followed by a reading from his new book, “A Mystic Dream of 4” which is a sonnet sequence based on the life and times of the Irish mathematician William Rowan Hamilton.

The winner in the category was my good friend Fabian Campbell-West, who I work alongside at QUB’s ECIT Institute and Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT), with his poem “Computer Coder’s Sonnet“.

My poem has Alan Turing as its subject. Turing was a mathematician, wartime code-breaker and pioneer of computer science. His contribution to the war effort and technology were only recognized recently due to the secret nature of the work, his prosecution for homosexuality and untimely death by suicide at the age of 41.

Much of the research carried out within CSIT on areas such as cryptography, algorithms and artificial intelligence can be traced directly back to his ground-breaking work back in the 1930’s and 1940’s.

Once again here is my poem:

Turing

Celebrated for his passion, persecuted over love
In Bletchley Hut 8 he tackled Enigma
Breaking the ciphers and stemming the tide
Only science mattered, not social stigma

His bombe silenced bombs, he moved on
The genius visualised a machine in his mind
A device for computation, competing with men
His automatic computing engine, all seeing, blind

Without his intelligence, artificial or otherwise
Machine learning, algorithms, big data; unfathomable
As scientists, today, the evidence is clear
The debt of gratitude owed Turing is utterly incalculable.

Since writing the poem I have learned that a film called “The Imitation Game” based on Alan Turing’s life will go on general release in the UK on 14 November 2014. It stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Turing and is directed by Morten Tyldum with a screenplay by Graham Moore, based on the biography Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges. You can view a trailer here:

Buzzard #shortpoems

Kiew, kiew, kiew,
Gliding, on the wind flow
Heard first, then I see you

Scanning for his prey
The raptor hovers like a drone.
Will they see another day?

Nonchalantly banking with his tail
Swooping earthward
Talons flexed like coffin nails.

—-
I’m privileged that my home backs on to fields in the hills overlooking Belfast. The topography funnels wind, creating the perfect conditions for buzzards to glide and hover while they look for prey.

Regularly I watch as a breeding pair of these beautiful raptors soar and hunt in the fields that march the housing development.

The Dock – A poem by David Crozier

I am delighted and honoured that my poem “The dock” was chosen as the winner of the inaugural MATRIX Poetry Competition. I collected the prize on Saturday 5th October 2013 from Poet Laureate Carol Anne Duffy at a reading session she hosted in Derry~Londonderry as as part of Poetry Month and the 2013 City of Culture celebrations.

Collecting the inaugural MATRIX Poetry Competition Prize from Poet Laureate, Carol Anne Duffy and MATRIX Deputy Chair, Dr Norman Apsley
Collecting the inaugural MATRIX Poetry Competition Prize from Poet Laureate, Carol Anne Duffy and MATRIX Deputy Chair, Dr Norman Apsley

The inaugural competition, which was introduced by MATRIX to highlight the links between science and the arts, was to write a poem about any science related topic.

It was open to those people who study the STEM subjects or work in science/technology based industries. It was judged by Professor Iggy McGovern, Professor of Physics at Trinity College Dublin and award winning poet.

MATRIX, the Northern Ireland Science Industry Panel, is a business led expert panel, formed primarily to advise government, industry and academia on the commercial exploitation of R&D and science and technology in Northern Ireland.

My poem drew inspiration from the sounds, history and future of the area around the Thompson Dry Dock which my office overlooks.  It also draws parallels between the heavy engineering that the shipyard area was known for and the future, driven by research and development, carried out at my place of work – the ECIT Institute.

The motivation for writing the poem is simple. MATRIX Chair Bryan Keating asked me to. Sometimes being asked to do something is motivation enough.

My poem:

The dock

The sound of hammering and clanging ringing out from the dock
Regularly drifts in the sea breeze through my window.
This recording a remembrance of ocean liners engineered
In Belfast’s mighty shipyards once spread out below.

Now in this furnace of technology, an Institute of the future,
Researchers secure the digital tomorrow for one and all.
Transportation of a different kind their focus; of data and knowledge.
The brains of this nation answering Queen’s Island call.

For through science our pride will be restored once more,
Technology despatched through new venture creation.
Lessons learned, skills honed, motivation unsinkable
Let’s doff a duncher to this foundry of innovation.

Creative Commons License
“The Dock” by David Crozier is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at http://www.davidcrozier.co.uk/2013/10/07/the-dock/