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Framework for a Pi Poem (and a Sample Pi Poem)

March 14, 2018


A Pi Poem about a Bakery and a Framework for a 35-line Pi Poem


by Alice Jane-Marie Massa



How is your celebration of Pi Day going?  To enhance your Pi Day, this WORDWALK blog post includes another sample pi poem and an easy-to-use framework for writing your own pi poem of up to thirty-five lines.


Last week’s blog post about pies brought forth so many interesting, enjoyable, and much-appreciated comments and personal e-mails about pies that I began thinking about my maternal grandfather’s Italian bakery in the small Hoosier town of Blanford, on Highway 71, near the Blanford Cut-off Road.  Eventually, in a future post on WORDWALK, I will further describe the large building which housed not only the bakery, but also the grocery store and residence of my mother’s family after my grandparents came to the United States from Levone, Italy.


Later, I will further celebrate Pi/Pie Day with a piece of apple pie, which Leader Dog Willow and I purchased during our morning walk.  Happily, I just learned that a friend in Michigan aptly made “Mother’s Chocolate Cream Pie,” the recipe for which I posted on WORDWALK on March 7.  Via a photo of the chocolate meringue pie to my sister, I know the pie turned out picture-perfect.  Coincidentally, perfection is a topic of my pi poem.  I hope you are enjoying a good piece of pie as you read the following.



Grandpa’s Italian Bakery in Blanford, Indiana


a pi poem by Alice Jane-Marie Massa



As a child,


ran, skipped, and walked


Grandpa’s bakery–

a large, antique room that had become


of all ingredients

for Italian

crusty bread,

whose aroma now

wafts by only as memory.

Dusty, stale air prevails, surrounds me:

at a pause in happy play,

I marvel at the huge old mixer–

still, dormant


Grandpa’s death.

He, the baker from Italy,

was the one

who displayed so much pride

in loaves

of perfect quality

that when a rack

of his loaves

was proclaimed

not sufficiently baked inside,

Grandpa tossed

these loaves

in a trash receptacle

so no one would taste imperfection.

I had the pleasure

of playing in his Blanford bakery,

but wish

I could have tasted just one slice.


NOTE:  Especially in the days of the early 1900s, throwing away food must have been difficult although, I assume, rare.  Even today, I greatly dislike wasting food or having to put food down the garbage disposal.  On the other hand, I must have inherited my particular taste about the doneness of bread from my maternal grandfather because I do especially prefer my bread well done.


YOUR TURN, PLEASE:  Now, I hope that many readers of WORDWALK will share stories or anecdotes about bread and bakeries in the comment field of this blog post.  Also, you are still welcome to add a comment about pies or Pi Day.  Thanks!


Framework for a 35-line Pi Poem


Following the first thirty-five numerals of the mathematical pi, I will provide below a framework for writing a pi poem.  As mentioned on my blog post of February 28, 2018, your pi poem need not have any particular rhyme scheme.  Although the poem need not rhyme at all, I do hope that you will enhance your pi poem with as much creativity as needed so that your piem(another term for a pi poem) does look and sound like a poem.  While I always write pi poems by counting syllables, some poets count words per line instead.  When I note the number of syllables per line in the framework, you may use the number of syllables in only one word or as many words as you wish in order to have a total of the given number of syllables.  (Please refer to my example  on this blog post, as well as other archived WORDWALK posts about pi poems.)


You may end your poem at whatever point along the framework you please, or you may follow subsequent numerals of pi to write an even longer piem.


Writing a pi poem will help a novice or amateur poet to practice crafting lines of varying lengths to add variety to one’s poems.  Also, if you tend to write lines that are too long, the piem pattern will prevent the occurrence of lines that are too lengthy.  Writing a pi poem is a fun challenge for both the new poet and the experienced poet.  Happy writing!




by piemist:


Line 1.  (three syllables)


Line 2.  (one syllable)


Line 3.  (four syllables)


Line 4.  (one syllable)


Line 5.  (five syllables)


Line 6.  (nine syllables)


Line 7.  (two syllables)


Line 8.  (six syllables)


Line 9.  (five syllables)


Line 10.  (three syllables)


Line 11.  (five syllables)


Line 12.  (eight syllables)


Line 13.  (nine syllables)


Line 14.  (seven syllables)


Line 15.  (nine syllables)


Line16.  (three syllables)


Line 17.  (two syllables)


Line 18.  (three syllables)


Line 19.  (eight syllables)


Line 20.  (four syllables)


Line 21.  (six syllables)


Line 22.  (two syllables)


Line 23.  (six syllables)


Line 24.  four syllables)


Line 25.  (three syllables)


Line 26.  (three syllables)


Line 27.  (eight syllables)


Line 28.  (three syllables)


Line 29.  (two syllables)


Line 30.  (seven syllables)


Line 31.  (nine syllables)


Line 32.  (five syllables)


Line 33.  (For the zero, I use a line of ten syllables; you may also choose to skip the zero or use this zero as an opportunity for a stanza break.)


Line 34.  (two syllables)


Line 35.  (eight syllables)



Hoping you are enjoying Pi Day,

Alice and Leader Dog Willow


March 14, 2018, Wednesday



From → Uncategorized

  1. Sue McKendry permalink

    Alice–Thanks for writing the poem about bread instead of pie (I craved pie all week), although now I could really go for some freshly baked bread. My maternal grandmother baked all of the bread for her family, and my grandfather always told us that he never had to eat store-bought bread. Arriving “up north” late at night from the then 5-hour drive, we always feasted on that delicious bread topped with her canned berries–nothing better!–Sue

    • Hi, Sue–Thanks for sharing your anecdote about the homemade bread which you enjoyed.  It does sound mighty good!

      Happy St. Patrick’s day!  Alice and Willow

  2. Dear Alice,
    Your descriptive poem brought Grandpa’s bakery to life for me. I always enjoyed going into that big room and imagining the busy baker creating his delicious loaves of Italian bread. I remember Mother saying that the family meals of soup, stew, chicken, or roast beef were slowly cooked in the brick oven each day–somewhat of a modern-day slow cooker. As a result of using the brick oven for meals, our Mother did not have the experience of learning to cook at home. After Mother and Dad were married, Dad had to teach Mother how to cook on a regular kitchen stove!
    Thank you for the delicious memories!
    Love, Mary

    • Hi, Mary–Thanks for adding so well your food and family memories of our parents and grandparents.

      Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  Alice and Willow

  3. Carole permalink

    The baking bread must have filled the neighborhood with a wonderful aroma! I am honored to display the over-sized baskets and sifter that played such an important role in our grandfather’s work. Thanks for the tribute, Alice!

    • Hi, Carole–When you have time, please measure the basket and sifter so that I will have a better idea of the size of these bakery items from our grandfather’s bakery.  I am pleased to have on one of my living room walls a framed (eight-by-ten) photo of Grandpa behind the counter at the Blanford store.

           While two other grocery stores were the competition in our small town, I do not believe any other store ever included a brick-oven bakery.  So, you are right that the wonderful aroma would have come only from our Grandpa’s bakery.

      Warm thanks for commenting–Alice and Willow

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