Friday, April 8, 2022

Filling the Well: Amit Ray and Yehuda Amichai

Fun fact: Albert Einstein was born on Pi Day—March 14, 1879.

Mathematics and poetry are the two ways to drink the beauty of truth.
Problem in a Math Book
I remember a problem in a math book
about a train that leaves from place A and another train
that leaves from place B. When will they meet?
And no one ever asked what happens when they meet:
will they stop or pass each other by, or maybe collide?
Read the rest of the poem at Poetry Foundation.
Song from π, by aSongScout
For more about how this song was written, click HERE.
The power of x
Choreographed by I Could Never Be a Dancer
Now it's your turn!

A poetic form created by Greg Pincus that plays off the mathematical Fibonacci sequence, a "Fib" is a six line, 20 syllable poem in which each line gets its syllable count from following the Fibonacci sequence. This means the six lines have syllable counts of 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, and 8 respectively. Some would say the first number of the Fibonacci sequence is actually a zero, so imagine every Fib starting with a beat of silence.
These are the first 20 digits of pi: 3.14159265358979323846 (or, if you're particularly ambitious, the first million digits). Choose one of the following variations:
  • The first line of your poem should have 3 WORDS; the second line, 1 word; the third line, 4 words; and so forth. Your poem can be as long as you like, so long as you keep to the sequence.
  • The first line of your poem should have 3 SYLLABLES, the second line, 1 syllable, the third line, 4 syllables, and so forth. You get the idea.
  • Each word in your poem must contain the same number of LETTERS as the sequence of pi. Line breaks are up to you.

If you leave your poems in the comments, I'd love to read them!
(But no million-digit pi poems, please.)

This week's Poetry Friday roundup is being hosted by Janice Scully at Salt City Verse. She shares a wonderful book review and interview with David Elliott about his newest children's poetry collection, At the Pond

You'll find the National Poetry Month kidlit events roundup at Jama's Alphabet Soup.


  1. Michelle, these daily posts are wonderful, each and every one. I'll be spending time tomorrow in airports and in the sky. These prompts will be perfect.

  2. This is such a fun prompt! I second what Stephanie said about the daily posts all being wonderful. Though I don't comment very often, it's nice to see the notifications pop up in my email!

    1. Thanks for letting me know, Teresa. Wonderful to see your name pop up in the comments this week. :)

  3. Every time I see a photo of Einstein, I just can't help but smile. He really was kind of an imp, I think. I like the poem. I will try to work on these forms this week. Thanks for the post.

  4. This is the best. I love Fibonacci poems.

  5. Thank you, Michelle. I wrote a Fib poem...but it is about Ukraine and not a happy poem. So, just know that I'm delighted with the well filling xo

    1. Sometimes we just write what we need to write. Totally understandable.

  6. I'd love to have had that poem with my math students, Michelle. another one to enjoy & discuss! We loved Sandburg's 'Arithmetic'! Thanks for the PI & geometry wonders. People create such amazing things. Thanks for all you've shared!

  7. Thanks for this mathematical poetic inspiration!

  8. I like all the Pi Poem Possibilities! Fun post!

  9. You know I love me some FIB poetry, Michelle.
    With a side of Pi? You're so sly... ;)

  10. I have fun counting syllables and words. Here's a pi poem counting words. I just happened to be cooking today.

    Impromptu Soup

    Lima beans
    canned tomatoes
    Any vegetable
    in your cellar or kept in your fridge
    will do,
    like colors in your yard
    none seem out of place.

    1. Yay, Janice! I especially love the last two lines. And you've made me hungry to boot! :D

  11. I've been checking these out, Michelle, and today is my favorite so far! Who knew I'd be so inspired by math? Thanks for your hard work in curating these posts!

  12. What a beautiful, rich post! I have never considered myself a math-y person, but with context like this, it might have been/be different. Our Gg memorized pi out to 100 digits when she was in middle school (?!?), and I am going to share this with her now. Thank you!