Wislawa Szymborska

(2 July 1923 – 1 February 2012 / Prowent)

Pi - Poem by Wislawa Szymborska

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.
The longest snake on earth calls it quits at about forty feet.
Likewise, snakes of myth and legend, though they may hold out a bit longer.
The pageant of digits comprising the number pi
doesn't stop at the page's edge.
It goes on across the table, through the air,
over a wall, a leaf, a bird's nest, clouds, straight into the sky,
through all the bottomless, bloated heavens.
Oh how brief - a mouse tail, a pigtail - is the tail of a comet!
How feeble the star's ray, bent by bumping up against space!
While here we have two three fifteen three hundred nineteen
my phone number your shirt size the year
nineteen hundred and seventy-three the sixth floor
the number of inhabitants sixty-five cents
hip measurement two fingers a charade, a code,
in which we find hail to thee, blithe spirit, bird thou never wert
alongside ladies and gentlemen, no cause for alarm,
as well as heaven and earth shall pass away,
but not the number pi, oh no, nothing doing,
it keeps right on with its rather remarkable five,
its uncommonly fine eight,
its far from final seven,
nudging, always nudging a sluggish eternity
to continue.

Topic(s) of this poem: math

Comments about Pi by Wislawa Szymborska

  • Laurie Van Der Hart (8/20/2016 1:56:00 PM)

    I wonder
    Why, oh why, oh why
    Pi is as endless as the sky?
    My son learned it up to its 300th digit
    I wonder
    How, oh how, oh how
    On earth he ever did it!

    Another clever poem by Wislawa
    It will go on for ever and ever!
    (Report) Reply

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  • Susan Williams (1/30/2016 2:41:00 PM)

    Had me smiling and admiring her adroit use of her skillful pen (Report) Reply

  • Kim Barney (1/30/2016 9:03:00 AM)

    Fascinating poem about the properties of PI. I wish I had known about this poem back when I was a math teacher! (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (1/30/2016 6:49:00 AM)

    With the muse of Mathematics. Nice work. (Report) Reply

  • (1/30/2016 3:55:00 AM)

    pi could me and my relation
    to people around me..hehehehe
    (Report) Reply

  • Spock The Vegan (12/4/2015 6:48:00 PM)

    Funny poem - I like it. I invite you to read my educational poems (as well as the funny ones, the religious ones, and the bad ones) Wait - do I have any of those? (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Friday, December 4, 2015

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