3/14/2012

Circular Reasoning

Circular Reasoning
An Ode to Pi

Circular reasoning
Leads us to think
About infinite answers
(which leads us to drink).

But one thing is certain:
Divide area by
A circle’s diameter
Leaves you with pi.

In fact, you can use it
For all sorts of things
Like circumference and volume
Of spheres and of rings.

There's so much that
We can do with this guy;
Makes me wonder about
The origins of pi.

Did someone imagine it
From something they’d read,
Or like Newton’s apple, did it
Fall from their head?

Or maybe I'm wrong
In what I have said;
Maybe it happened
In this way instead:

A student of math cried,
“I think that it’s three!”
With their professor professing,
“It just cannot be!”

“There must be more to it,”
The teacher exclaimed,
(For simplicity makes
Mathematicians ashamed).

“It must be much longer.
Add a one. And a four”
And thus they kept going
Adding much, much, much more.

They wrote down a one
And a five and a nine.
The answer was starting
To look pretty fine.

Then they wrote down a two
and a six and a five.
This number was really
Starting to thrive.

Then came a three
And a five eight nine seven.
The teacher was now having
Thoughts of math heaven.

Meanwhile, the student’s
passion was gone.
“This number,” he thought,
“Just goes on on and on.”

“A nine! And a three!
And a two! One more three!”
The professor was shouting
As he danced with glee.

The student, at some point,
Snuck out the back,
But the teacher, undaunted,
Continued the attack.

“An eight! And a four!
“And then six two six four!”
He kept up the ranting
Behind his closed door.

“Three three eight three!
Two and seven nine!”
The mathematical coot
Was feeling quite fine.

As far as I know
He’s still at it today,
Writing digits forever
Or till his death anyway.

For an infinite sequence
Never will die.
Just pondering it makes me
Hungry for pie.
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