# How to Write a Pi Poem for 3/14/22

**How to Create a Pi Poem**

**for Pi Day (March 14)**

by Alice Jane-Marie Massa

To mark Pi Day–March 14 (3/14) of 2022, I am sharing with you a little early a new sample pi poem (also called a “piem”), as well as the instructions so that you may write your own pi poem for Pi Day on Monday. For the past several years on WORDWALK, I have posted similar blog posts which have been among my most visited WORDWALK posts–evidently due to students, teachers, and/or budding writers finding my directions for creating a piem. If you enjoy word games–playing with words–you should give this poetic form a try.

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.

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 poetic 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 new 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.

* * *

NOTE: On March 21, I will celebrate thirty-two years since I received my first Leader Dog–Keller, “The Stellar Keller,” my Golden Retriever.

**My Quartet of Leader Dogs**

pi poem by Alice Jane-Marie Massa

Thirty-two

years,

four sweet blessings–

let’s

applaud, celebrate

Willow, Zoe, Heather, and Keller–

guide dogs

who facilitated

smiles, hopes, dreams, wishes

as we walked

through life challenges.

My four Leader Dogs–a quartet

of quintessential memories, gifts

that forever give to me

a bright world of possibilities.

Different–

each guide,

so distinct

from my other amazing guides,

yet you will know

why my beating, happy

heart has

four chambers marked with paws.

My gratitude

for each one,

for each love,

each devoted guide dog, glistens

in my soul.

You think

I walk only with one guide;

no–I’m proudly led by four guide dogs.

All that each taught me

endures

with me wherever we all go.

* * * *

PART 2: Below you will find the same piem repeated with only the addition of a number in brackets at the onset of each poetic line. The numeral within the brackets indicates the number of syllables which the line contains. If you read only the numerals directly down the left side of the page (or screen), you will read the numbers of mathematical pi. The thirty-second numeral is zero. When you are crafting a pi poem and arrive at the thirty-second poetic line, you have the following choices to deal with the zero:

A. Skip the zero, and proceed to the next numeral which is 2.

b. Create the ending of your pi poem with line thirty-one or earlier.

c. Create a stanza break at the point of the occurrence of the zero.

d. Create a poetic line of ten syllables.

In my sample piem, I chose to skip the “0” and went on to the numeral “2” of pi to craft a two-syllable line for my piem.

* * * * *

**My Quartet of Leader Dogs**

pi poem by Alice Jane-Marie Massa

[3] Thirty-two

[1] years,

[4] four sweet blessings–

[1] let’s

[5] applaud, celebrate

[9] Willow, Zoe, Heather, and Keller–

[2]guide dogs

[6] who facilitated

[5] smiles, hopes, dreams, wishes

[3] as we walked

[5] through life challenges.

[8] My four Leader Dogs–a quartet

[9] of quintessential memories, gifts

[7] that forever give to me

[9] a bright world of possibilities.

[3] Different–

[2] each guide,

[3] so distinct

[8] from my other amazing guides,

[4] yet you will know

[6] why my beating, happy

[2] heart has

[6] four chambers marked with paws.

[4] My gratitude

[3] for each one,

[3] for each love,

[8]each devoted guide dog, glistens

[3] in my soul.

[2] You think

[7] I walk only with one guide;

[9] no–I’m proudly led by four guide dogs.

[5] All that each taught me

[2] endures

[8] with me wherever we all go.

** ** **

**PART 3: 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 poetic 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. After selecting all of your document, use the “center” feature so that each line will be centered to appear better on the page or screen as a pi poem. 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 9, 2022, Wednesday

Dear Alice,

I certainly admire your skill in writing a wonderful Pi Poem—a loving tribute to your four precious Leader Dogs. Enjoy being a piemist!

Love to you and Willow,

Mary

Thanks, Mary! Did you ever think that your little sister would be a

piemist?

Talk with you soon–A & W