March 14, 2015

Let's Write a Pi Ku!

Today is Pi Day, March 14 (or 3.14, same as the short approximation of Pi) and I know that all of you are just wracking your brains trying to think of new and exciting ways to celebrate. You've already eaten pies (fruit, cream, and pizza), marched in a circle, memorized pi until you can't stand it anymore, and watched the movie, Pi. What more can you do? 

The answer is poetry. Yes, there's a special verse form that's perfect for today, and it's called a Pi Ku. It's similar to a haiku, except instead of the familiar 5-7-5 syllable structure, it's composed of 3, 1, and 4-syllable lines. You can write them either singly, or in groups of three, like haiku. Ideally, they should be celebrating Pi. 

Here's an attempt of mine: 


I love you,
You complete me. 

I love pie,
And my cat Pye. 
I suppose, if you want something more challenging, you could write a longer poem, continuing the value of pi.
Just to give it a try, I wrote this one with the first 45 digits: 
 3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939. (The stanza break is for the zero.) 

I marvel
the seemingly
appearing digit-ousness of you.
I can't
understand the way you
can keep on going
when none know
what your end will be.
To what strange end you lead yourself!
Incalculable, alone, you lead
to some mysterious end,
with no witness to your final doom.
I think I'd
have the pluck
to travel seas or phantom skies
with no one near,
no one to hear me sigh,
no friend
when my breath failed at last.
I think my mind
would stutter
to a close
or rank fear grasp me hard and strong
before I died
and took
my leave of pure mathematics.
What keeps you going, Pi, what inner
strength commands your will? 

O Pi,
I celebrate your strangeness, but
I cannot follow you, for I
am puny flesh.
on this day, the fourteenth day of March,
I raise my glass, and hail
I praise your bravery
and the proud, unremitting spirit
that glows on
into the unconquerable night. 

Come on, give it a try! I'll bet you can do better than I did.

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