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Poetry competition: π-ku

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Since some people might be looking for small momentary diversions around now to take their mind off things, we’re running a little poetry competition!

You may be familiar with the format of a Haiku – a constrained poem of three lines, with a strict 5, 7 and 5 syllables in each line. A π-ku, however, celebrates the mathematical constant π, also often rounded to 3.14, with a three-line poem with lines of 3, 1 and 4 syllables respectively; or, if you prefer, 3, 1 and 4 words, which gives you a bit more flexibility – and if you use all 1-syllable words, you can do both!

People have written about π-ku before – including classifying them by topic, and allowing them to extend beyond three lines – but we’d like to encourage people to have a go and see what they come up with. Here’s a not-very-good example, which uses 3, 1 and 4 words:

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The subject of your poem can be anything – something related to π or maths, whatever’s on your mind at the minute, or anything at all. We’d like to see creative, thoughtful, silly, fun, elegant and everything in between. We’ll pick our favourites and share them in a post here.

To enter, simply compose your poem and share it with us – either on Twitter, mentioning our handle @Aperiodical and including the hashtag #piku – or, if you prefer, email it to with the subject line ‘Pi-ku’.

The competition will stay open until midnight on 10th July, and the winner will receive a prize of your choice of popular maths book (from our collection of barely-touched review copies that are sitting around on our bookshelves).

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$\LaTeX$: You can use LaTeX in your comments. e.g. $ e^{\pi i} $ for inline maths; \[ e^{\pi i} \] for display-mode (on its own line) maths.

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