Who'll solve my problem? asks the moon
Moving across the sky
Who'll calculate my radius
And multiply by π?
The shining flood of light I pour
By half a world is shared
And yet this area, figured out
Is merely πr2
The laws of π all circles must
Yet lovely as a lily, I
Float heedless on my way
My proud contention this, which once
The ancient Romans held:
Luna se moven -- briefly put
The moon is self-propelled.
Night's Queen I trace a silvery
Circumference of sky
And share my cold and regal sway
With nobody but π.
Copyright © 1977 by Joan Aiken Enterprises, Ltd.;
first appeared in The Skin Spinners, published by Viking Press;
reprinted by permission of Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents, Inc.
Joan Aiken is the author of over sixty books for adults and children, perhaps the best known of which are The Wolves of Willoughby Chase series. She still types all her novels on a typewriter, never having moved onto a computer. Aiken lives in Sussex, England, with her husband.
Note: This poem uses an HTML "entity" to represent the Greek letter pi. If your browser can't display that, you may be unable to see the pi. An earlier version of this page used the Symbol font, which left the pi characters looking like a letter p for people who didn't have that font installed.