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The Pi-ven

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Once upon a midnight dreary, while reviewing weak and weary
Over many a trig and precalc chapter of before,
While I nodded, calmly reading, suddenly there came a beating
As of someone quickly speeding, speeding by my chamber door.
“Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “fleeting by my chamber door;

Only this, and nothing more.”

Ah, distinctly I recall, it was a March, though warm like fall
And yet each separate crying call asked for another figure
Eagerly I wished the morning, sorely I had sought some warning,
From my books I found but scorning, scorning for another figure.
For the rare irrational number whose decimal is 3.14.

Ending here for evermore.

And unfurled and uncertain rustling of each curled page would
anoint me, point me to fantastic ideas never known before;
So that now, disjoint from my notes and reading, stood I pleading
“Tis some visitor passing plainly, plaintively by my chamber door,
Some late passerby proceeding plainly by my chamber door:

This it is, and nothing more.”

Presently my sense strengthened core, pi was never getting more,
“3.14, or so,” said I,” truly your entirety I’ve discerned.”
But the fact is pi was without end, and our numbers it would bend,
and so faintly it does append, to each new digit a friend did score
so that more space to mark it I implore, a new concept did I abhor,

Not so close was 314.

Deep into that circle seeing, long I sat there, pondering, being,
Building shapes that ancient Greeks had endeavored, built before;
But the digits were unbroken, the end’s lack left me broken.
And the lone words there outspoken, were those barely spoken, “But more?”
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the words, “But more?”

Endless digits, forever more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my mind within in me learning,
Soon again I head a churning somewhat louder than before.
“Surely,” said I, “surely that is all that we use for calculation;
Let me see, then, what this burning is, and the number explore,
Let these polygons be all we need, and this number explore:

‘Tis the Greeks, and nothing more.”

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a sign and number,
In there stepped a stately Piven of the ancient days of yore.
Not in the least rationale bade he; no pattern followed or made he;
But, with the form of Lord or Lady, perched above an infinite series,
Perched upon an Enlightened bust of European theories.

Calculated, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ancient ratio naming, by William Jones into taming
By abandonment, gone were the polygons of before“
Though thy name by Jones was given, by Euler’s adoption was it driven.
Irrational and ancient Piven had wandered across time’s shores.
Tell me what thy ending digit is on the plane’s boundary, unknown before.”

Quoth the Piven, “Forever more.”

Much I marveled at this transcendental’s ways of speaking yet so gentle,
Though its answer seemed no meaning and no true practicality bore
For we cannot help agreeing that never has a human being
Ever yet be blessed with seeing the unending digits in the mind so before,
Neither shape nor series gave such response in the mind before.

Succinctly put, “Forever more.”

But the Piven seated infinitely on the perch he chose, cried definitively,
That one phrase, as if his very soul in those words he did outpour.
Nothing less or more did he exclaim, to no new bound did he declaim,
Till I scarcely more than muttered, – “Other scholars have known before,
On the morrow, more will be shown, as timeworn scholars have known before.”

Then the bird said, “Forever more.”

Startled by the knowledge gained by reply and tone maintained,
“Doubtless,” said I, “what is said is it’s only characteristic,
Caught from some unhappy decimal whose value is infinitesimal,
Followed fast and followed faster till his message so simplistic,
Till the dirges of his function shortly put, heuristic

Of his cry, “Forever more.”

But the ratio still with naming by Jones into taming,
Straight I wheeled a computer chair in from of bird and sign and door,
Then, into Internet sinking, seeing what others were linking,
Fancy unto fancy, computing out this ominous bird of yore.
How far deep this unending, basic, and yearned for bird of yore.

Meant by croaking, “Forever more.”

Then I engaged in guessing, but no limit of processing,
In the number whose fiery digits now burned through my PC’s core.
This and more I sat inclining, away from bird and speech reclining,
On the keyboard’s plastic cap that the digits seemed flowing o’er
But could it really go on? Others doubtless had asked before.

Keys be pressed forever more.

Then, methought, the bird grew denser, performed by some unseen sensor,
Swung by Chudnovsky and Kanada, flew across my tufted floor.
“Wretch,” I cried, “thy end hath found thee, by these hackers it has crowned thee,
Respite –– respite and nepenthe from the ancient days of 314!”
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost 314.”

Quoth the Piven, “Forever more.”

“Prophet!” said I, “end of circle, prophet still, if bird or mortal!
Whether Archimedes, or Euler sought thee, and here ye come ashore,
Desolate yet all unending, through calculation my sanity spendingOn
this home by Piven haunted, tell me truly I implore:
Is there – is there end in Pi’s digits? Does here it cease, I implore!”

Quoth the Piven, “Forever more.”

“Prophet!” said I, “end of circle, prophet still, if bird or mortal!
By those theories which guide us, by those Greeks we both adore,
Tell this soul with sorrow laden, if within the distant Aidenn,
It shall see the number whom the angels name 314,
End it there, or shall it continue! Surely the knowledge be in your store!”

Quoth the Piven, “Forever more.”
“Be that word your sign of leaving, pi or bird!” I shrieked then, grieving:
“Get thee back into the histories and logs of days of yore!
Leave no digit as a token of that which thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my ignorance unbroken! Quit the perch above my door!
Take these numbers from my mind, and take thy figures from my core!”

Quoth the Piven, “Forever more.”

And the Piven, never fleeing, still is being, still is seeing
My mind’s loss from just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the peering of a demon’s that is cheering
And the numbers he has shown are scrawled upon the floor:
And my soul from those digits in his shadow, cast above my door

Shall dwell therein– Forever more!

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