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Pi Poem for Comba Bakery

March 1, 2017


NOTE:  If you are not interested in writing a pi poem, but would like to read one about Comba Bakery (which closed nearly five decades ago in Clinton, Indiana), please proceed to the second  section of this blog post.


On the other hand, if you are interested in the crafting of a pi poem, please read the preliminary section before reading the pi poem.



March–A Time for Writing Pi Poems



I was thinking spring and then the month of March which took my poetic mind to pi poems (or piems).  If you are prompted to pen a pi poem on or before Pi Day (March 14–3/14), you may want to use the following portion of the infinite number of pi as I did in the piem which appears later in this post:


As in my pi poem below, the above portion of mathematical pi allows for 35 lines of poetry.  To write a pi poem, you use the mathematical pi as a guide to determine the precise length for each poetic line of your pi poem.  While some poets count words per line, I am among the poets (piemists) who count syllables per line to craft a pi poem.  For example, the first line of a pi poem contains three syllables; the second line contains only one syllable (therefore, a word of one syllable), and the third line includes four syllables.  As you continue to follow mathematical pi for each line length, you decide when to close or end your poem.   While you ponder a piem, the rhyme scheme is your choice.


In my opinion, if your poem extends to the first zero of pi, you may take one of the following three choices:

  1. Conclude your poem; thus, your pi poem will end with a line of five syllables.
  2. Skip the zero, and make the next line of your poem with a count of two syllables; then, continue with a line of eight syllables, etc.
  3. Interpret the zero as the number ten; thus, create a poetic line of ten syllables. (You may conclude your piem with this ten-syllable line or continue to follow the guideline of pi with your next line having only two syllables.)

In my previous pi poems, I used choice one or two; however, in my new piem, I incorporated the third choice.


If you are interested in more examples of pi poems, please explore the archives of this Wordwalk blog.  Among my most visited blog posts are those about pi poems, each of which includes a sample pi poem of mine.  From the number of visits on my prior posts about piems, I can only assume that some teachers, students, and/or budding poets are investigating my posts about Pi Day.  I thank you all and wish you “Happy writing!”



Pi Poem for Comba Bakery


by Alice Jane-Marie Massa



Crisp, brown bags


fine torchetti–


Italian pastries

of the brick oven of my cousin


his Comba Bakery–

so spotless, so clean,

fragranced well

with glorious bread

and, on some special occasions,

the sweet aroma of torchetti.


From Levone, Italy,

he came to Clinton, Indiana,

rose early

each day

to knead dough

that became long Italian loaves

or torchetti,

which he shaped like horseshoes

glazed with

granulated sugar.

Oh, what a sweet


of breadsticks!


His kind and gentle wife Dina

pulled and rolled

soft dough

and gave warm, welcoming grins

at their bakery on North Ninth Street.

The three items sold

were handmade to blue-ribbon perfection.

God bless

the gifted hands that made this food.



Happy March!

Alice and Leader Dog Willow


March 1, 2017, Wednesday



From → Uncategorized

  1. mfanyo permalink

    Oh, I love this PI poem, Alice! What delicious memories I have of the Comba Bakery–its sights, smells, and tastes. The warm, crispy loaves of Italian bread that we just had to tear into for a scrumptious snack on the seven-mile drive from the bakery to our home. Martin and Dina were certainly skilled at their profession, but that added ingredient of love made all the difference. Thanks for your lovely tribute to our cousins the Combas and their special Italian bakery.
    Love, Mary

    • Mary–Thanks for adding your comment. Also, I recall how family members would try to speak up first–and second–to be able to have the heel of the crusty Italian bread. Of all the Italian bread, I have eaten through the years, none compares with Martin’s loaves. The torchetti (or “torcetti”) were one of my very favorite treats; the wonderful texture of these sweet breadsticks could only be achieved in a brick oven.

      Grazie–Alice and Willow

  2. sue mckedry permalink

    Alice–I could almost taste and smell the baked goodies–on the first day of Lent, yet!–Sue

  3. Fran Rayce permalink

    Alice-You certainly brought back memories of that wonderful aroma of freshly baked Italian bread, (as opposed to what we referred to as “American” bread, which had no scent)! Those delicious tastes and smells, particularly while still warm from the oven, are incomparable. Once in a while when we are in Clinton we are able to recreate the story (although only with Fossi’s) you so beautifully tell in your charming poem.


    • Fran–Until your comment, I had not thought of “American” bread for many years. You are so right that we used this term of “American bread” often and in a less than complimentary way–a second or lesser choice of breads. Although you grew up in Universal and I grew up in Blanford, our Italian heritage gave us many similarities of our youth.

      Take care–Alice

  4. Carole Morgan permalink

    There are no comparisons of times past or present to the creations from Comba’s Bakery. I’m salivating while thinking of the soft, crusty bread and the short, fat breadsticks. Mmmm!

    • Carole–Thanks for adding your comment about the delicious bread and breadsticks. Yes, absolutely no where else have I tasted breadsticks that come close to the quality, taste, and texture of Comba’s. Too many times to count, you and I rode with your dad to Clinton to the Comba Bakery when he daily picked up bread and breadsticks to sell at Lanzone Grocery Store. In the car, on the ride home to Blanford, the aroma of the bread tempted our taste buds: at times, we had to have a sample. What childhoods we had!

      From snowy Milwaukee–Alice and Willow

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