Monday, September 6, 2010

More of Pi in Poetry

Recording artist Kate Bush has written a song entitled “Pi” which includes some of π's digits in the lyrics. Likewise, Polish Nobelist (1996) Wislawa Szymborska also features its digits in her poem, “Pi,” which begins:

   The admirable number pi:
   three point one four one.
   All the following digits are also initial,
   five nine two because it never ends.
   It can't be comprehended six five three five at a glance,
   eight nine by calculation,
   seven nine or imagination,
   not even three two three eight by wit, that is, by comparison
   four six to anything else
   two six four three in the world.
   . . .
A link for the complete text for “Pi” (translated by Clare Cavanagh and Stanisław Barańczak) is available at  Info-Poland -- in fact, this site has links to more than 50 of Szymborska's poems as well as links to other sites.

The following poem of π reflects on its meaning rather than its digits.

   Π        by Robert Morgan

   The secret relationship
   of line and circle, progress
   and return, is always known,
   transcendental and yet
   a commonplace. And though
   the connection is written
   it cannot be written out
   in full, never perfect, but
   is exact and constant, is
   eternal and everyday
   as orbits of electrons,
   chemical rings, noted here
   in one brief sign as gateway
   to completed turns and
   the distance inside circles,
   both compact and infinte.

Robert Morgan's "Π"was first published in POETRY  (January, 1993) and is included in his collection Topsoil Road (LSU Press, 2000).

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