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Square comment on shoe styles

Recently I have returned to Silver Spring from a trip to Latvia, traveling with a friend who was born there. My effort to find poetry with mathematics there was stymied by the fact that little Latvian literature has been translated into English.
The Latvian capital, Riga, is a charming city--and its cobblestone streets do not deter women from wearing elegant tall-heeled shoes. The sight of them reminded me of a little poem I wrote a few years ago--a *square* poem--which comments on this stylish sort of shoe (in which I've never been able to walk).
All over the world
fashionable shoes—
trendy, hazardous,
uncomfortable—
keep women in place.
This little poem is termed "square" because each of the 5 lines contains 5 syllables. The earliest example of a square poem with which I am familiar is "Square Poem in Honor of Elizabeth I" from *Sundry Christian Passions* (1597) by Henry Lok. Lok's poem is also one of those collected in *Strange Attractors: Poems of Love and Mathematics* (A K Peters, 2008).
Consider this experimental 9 line poem I did:

ReplyDeleteSenseless days

my worst fear.

Having your love

was most dear.

You bannished senselessness.

If each day

had been a page

of Romeo and Juliet

my senseless pen would still rewrite Act 3.

Count the number of characters in each line (not counting spaces & punctuation). Then take the last digit of the count (a 5, for a count of 25) and write down these 9 digits from left to right.

You will discover an important mathematical citizen. Does it add to the reading? At bottom are the 9 digits, if you get sick of counting.

Jack Ritter

jack@the-empty-set.com

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3.14159265

Thanks, Jack, that's fun! A sort of surprise to find PI therein.

ReplyDeletethanks for noticing! I just now saw your post.

ReplyDelete