Pi in the Sky Bye and Bye

by Lucas Frantz

Oh, round is round and square is square, and never the twain shall meet,
Till earth and sky stand presently at God’s great judgment seat.
Perhaps inscrutable three poínt fourtéen will meet us there
With form of dainty symmetry and fairer than the square.

A square with side of four doth have of area sixteen
And of perimeter sixteen. In this ‘tis plainly seen
The undesigning nature of the angle, line, and square.
But those who here find joy and hope are driven to despair,
And like Pythagoras of old they rend their clothes and sigh,
When guarded lady Circle comes revolving gravely by,
She seeds their souls with horrors of the night and the abyss,
For though it seems as true as line, her curve is lawlessness.

A circle with sixteen in area hath round the rim
Some fourteen point one seven nine six three and on—in dim
Infinity the mindless rank of digits holds its line:
Brute witness to eternal separateness of curve and line.
And here is the injustice in which circles all are bound:
We measure them with lines and squares instead of something round.
Parabola and ellipse, integral and differential: Circle’s maids
Are foreign in our native light. They crossed the nether shades—
They crossed Atlantic chaos from some far-east country where
The circle is a queen instead of slave-wife to the square.

Oh, round is round and square is square, and never the twain shall meet,
Till earth and sky stand presently at God’s great judgment seat.
Perhaps inscrutable three poínt fourtéen will meet us there
With form of dainty symmetry and fairer than the square.

(Credit to Rudyard Kipling for the refrain, taken from The Ballad of East and West.)


Having grown up a book-lover in horse-and-buggy communities in four states, Lucas Frantz is determined that his experiences will provide material as well as incentive in a quest for imaginative apprehension of life and culture.


Photography by Kenneth Godoy

3 thoughts on “Lucas Frantz: Pi in the Sky Bye and Bye”

  1. This is delightful. Geometry was perhaps the only part of math that I downright enjoyed in high school (I would much rather play with words than crunch numbers) so this whimsical exploration of form makes me happy.

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