# Pi Poems for Pi Day (with Instructions)

WORDWALK NOTE: On this Eve of Pi Day, in the midst of this month of March, I am sharing with you an extra post for Pi Day. This posting includes a new twenty-five-line pi poem (which I presented at a Readers’ Workshop this past Monday; then, you will find an article which details with examples and a numeric guide “How to Create a Pi Poem.” On St. Patrick’s Day (Wednesday), I will return to posting pieces about my four Leader Dogs to mark my 31^{st} anniversary of working with guide dogs.

The numerals in brackets at the onset of each poetic line in the first poem indicate the number of syllables per line: this poetic form will be explained after the first poem.

* * *

**Celebrating Poetry on Pi Day**

pi poem by Alice Jane-Marie Massa

[3] Poetry

[1] glides

[4] upon sweet air

[1] of

[5] imagination,

[9] translates into many languages

[2] of life,

[6] whispers kindness and hope,

[5] tempers brief anger,

[3] mirrors love,

[5] plants rhyming gardens,

[8] urges questions from fluffy clouds,

[9] dances with each partner at the ball,

[7] begs to be read and re-read,

[9] wishes to be read aloud by you,

[3] wants to be

[2] dog-eared

[3] by readers

[8] who appreciate this genre

[4] that manages

[6] to lift the creative

[2] readers

[6]to the glorious land

[4] to celebrate

[3] Pi Poems!

* * *

**How to Create a Pi Poem**

**for Pi Day (March 14)**

By Alice Jane-Marie Massa

My math teachers and professors would be quite surprised to know that I am still working with the mathematical pi (the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter). Of course, I am using pi for crafting a pi poem; and soon, you will also be using the mathematical pi to write your own pi poem (additionally called a “piem.”

On April 25, 2014, on a WUWM-FM radio broadcast of the program *Lake Effect*, I heard a poet mention this format for writing a poem. I was inspired and wanted to take on the challenge of crafting a pi poem. Simply, for each line one wishes to write, the poet incorporates the number of syllables according to each numeral of *pi*. Thus, the first line of a *piem *contains three syllables while the second line has only one syllable; the third line is a count of four syllables, and the fourth line includes one syllable. (While I prefer to count syllables, some poets count words per poetic line to create a piem.) If you choose to take on such a poetic challenge, you may make the *pi poem* as short or as long as you like.

For a pi poem, only the number of syllables per line is important; the rhyming pattern or lack of a rhyme scheme is the writer’s choice. Dividing the piem into stanzas is also the decision of the poet (or “piemist”).

With 34 lines, the following pi poem has syllables for each line based upon this portion of the mathematical pi: 3.1415926535897932384626433832795028.

To further assist you with the goal of creating your own pi poem, after the first presentation of my sample pi poem, the piem will be repeated with a numeral accompanying each line: the numeral at the onset of each line indicates the number of syllables in that poetic line. Therefore, the second presentation of my pi poem lets you know how I did follow the numerals of the mathematical pi to create my piem. The third part of this “how-to” article includes an important guideline which you can copy and paste into your new document. By using the syllabic guideline at the end of this article, you will find writing a pi poem very easy.

I find writing a pi poem is like playing a word game, and I hope that you will enjoy crafting a piem also.

* * *

**Wintering Hands (A Pi Poem)**

by Alice Jane-Marie Massa

My dry hands

need

winter’s lotion

or

moisture of snowflakes

without the numbing chill to the bone.

These hands

that do read braille by touch

reach into the gloves

of winter

to protect the sense

that gives me the blessing to read.

When you make snow angels with gloved hands,

when you form snowballs in palms,

when you shovel snow with mittened hands,

remember

to take

special care

of your wintered fingers and thumbs.

Throughout winter,

two extra pairs of gloves

are tucked

inside my worn backpack

so that if I

lose a pair

or find I

need to give a pair to someone,

I will be

fully

prepared to share the safe warmth

of thick fleece-lined, snowflake-patterned gloves.

Glove compartments soothe

the soul

that worries about winter’s cold.

** NOTE: To assist you with writing a pi poem of your own creation, I will repeat the text of “Wintering Hands” below; however, you will find that each line is preceded by a number which indicates the number of syllables of the poetic line. If you read only the numerals down the left side of the page, you will find that these numerals are the first thirty-four numbers of the mathematical pi. To deal with a zero of pi, you may skip the zero, insert a stanza break at the point of the zero, or craft a line of ten syllables.

**Wintering Hands (A Guide for a Pi Poem)**

by Alice Jane-Marie Massa

(3) My dry hands

(1) need

(4) winter’s lotion

(1) or

(5) moisture of snowflakes

(9) without the numbing chill to the bone.

(2) These hands

(6) that do read braille by touch

(5) reach into the gloves

(3) of winter

(5) to protect the sense

(8) that gives me the blessing to read.

(9) When you make snow angels with gloved hands,

(7) when you form snowballs in palm,

(9) when you shovel snow with mittened hands,

(3) remember

(2) to take

(3) special care

(8) of your wintered fingers and thumbs.

(4) Throughout winter,

(6) two extra pairs of gloves

(2) are tucked

(6) inside my worn backpack

(4) so that if I

(3) lose a pair

(3) or find I

(8) need to give a pair to someone,

(3) I will be

(2) fully

(7) prepared to share the safe warmth

(9) of thick fleece-lined, snowflake-patterned gloves.

(5) Glove compartments soothe

(2) the soul

(8) that worries about winter’s cold.

**Guidelines for a 19-line (or less) Pi Poem**

DIRECTIONS: Before you begin writing your pi poem, copy and paste into your new document the following syllabic guideline pattern for a piem of nineteen lines or less. (If you wish to create a longer pi poem, just refer to the mathematical pi.) Craft the desired number of poetic lines of a pi poem by writing a poetic line on each of the following lines, each of which begins with a number in brackets to indicate the number of syllables you should write for that particular line. After you have written your desired number of lines according to the syllabic pattern, delete the numerals and brackets at the onset of each poetic line. Remember to title your pi poem, and then polish and proofread your piem!

[3]

[1]

[4]

[1]

[5]

[9]

[2]

[6]

[5]

[3]

[5]

[8]

[9]

[7]

[9]

[3]

[2]

[3]

[8]

NOTE: If you have any questions about writing a pi poem, please e-mail me at:

Enjoy creating a pi poem! Happy Pi Day!

*Alice and Leader Dog Willow*

March 13, 2021, Saturday (Eve of Pi Day)

Alice, I’m very sorry that technology wasn’t on your side earlier today, but am really thankful and glad that you whipped it with your “pi”severance! You are so creative and ambitious; but for now, I will just have a piece of cherry pie, while contemplating your challenge!

Happy Pi day to you!

Love,

Carole

Hi, Carole–A piece of cherry pie right now does sound mighty good to me. Thanks again for your call this morningg and your comment on my blog.

Enjoy the weekend–Alice and Willow

Alice–Your efforts amaze me. I did enjoy reading this post, but afraid I will not be ambitious enough to attempt such a task. I do love pie, but pi, not so much!–Sue

Dear Alice,

Once again your creative expertise shines through in the beautiful pi poems! “Poetry” is a lovely piece written from your heart. Your thoughts in “Wintering Hands” about carrying extra gloves for someone who might need them warms my heart knowing that you and Willow may indeed meet someone needing gloves along your daily walks. In my retirement from teaching, I should have the time to try to write a pi poem, but I am probably better at baking a pie, preferably Mother’s chocolate meringue recipe!

Hope you can enjoy a delicious piece of pie for a special treat in celebration of Pi Day!

Love, Mary

Mary–Thank you! Now that my annual pi poems are written and posted, I did, indeed, just enjoy a piece of cherry pie! While I enjoy writing pi poems, our mother certainly enjoyed making homemade pies of various varieties. Her pies were so perfect that photos of them could have been in the Betty Crocker cookbook.

Happy pie baking!

Alice and Willow