It can't be grasped, six five three five , at a glance,
eight nine, by calculation,
seven nine, through imagination,
or even three two three eight in jest, or by comparison
four six to anything
two six four three in the world.
The longest snake on earth ends at thirty-odd feet.
Same goes for fairy tale snakes, though they make it a little longer.
The caravan of digits that is pi
does not stop at the edge of the page,
but runs off the table and into the air,
over the wall, a leaf, a bird's nest, the clouds, straight into the sky,
through all the bloatedness and bottomlessness.
Oh how short, all but mouse-like is the comet's tail!
How frail is a ray of starlight, bending in any old space!
Meanwhile two three fifteen three hundred nineteen
my phone number your shirt size
the year nineteen hundred and seventy-three sixth floor
number of inhabitants sixty-five cents
hip measurement two fingers a charade and a code,
in which we find how blithe the trostle sings!
and please remain calm,
and heaven and earth shall pass away,
but not pi, that won't happen,
it still has an okay five,
and quite a fine eight,
and all but final seven,
prodding and prodding a plodding eternity
- Wislawa Szymborska
This is possibly the furthest "off" from Madeline Bea's prompt (for the record it was 'illuminate') that I've been. But this is where I ended up. I just wasn't happy with any of the poems that I found about light and illumination. I was also interested in finding a 'happy' poem written by a women. This is also an incredibly hard thing to accomplish which led me to thinking about why women seemed to be tortured souls when they write poetry (think Emily Dickinson as a prime example) and men can be all romantic and whistful. If anyone knows of a bright and happy female poet, send her my way.