Cruel Unending Drama

A pi(e) acrostic
Mike Keith, 2004


The poem below is a π mnemonic constructed in a different way from those using Pilish.  In this text the first 85 digits of π (3.14159265358979...) are encoded in the first letter of successive words, by taking each initial letter's value (A=1, B=2, C=3, etc.) modulo 10, or, equivalently, the last digit of the letter value.  This is an easier constraint to work with than Pilish (even though it also encodes the digits at a density of one digit per word) so we decided to make it a bit harder.  The final letter of successive words also encodes the first 85 digits of the number e (2.718281828459045...).  For example, the first word in the poem is WILL, with the first letter W = 23 = 3 mod 10 giving the first digit of π and the last letter L = 12 = 2 mod 10 giving the first digit of e.  The poem's title is, of course, a three-digit mnemonic of the same kind.

        Cruel Unending Drama

Will keeping dogma alter evil, sir?
  (Black, familiar evil - war, even:
    "HOLY" its government-issued, musty label)

Civic hero, new pup, bureaucrat,
  political doer commencing campaign
    (having weak logic, generally),
Intellectual of top local renown,
  religious, doddering king
    (improbably governing):
All poison.

Seeking comfort, I interview myself.
Questions, enigmas (always the enigmas!) rise, vexing;
  tired senses gasp.
Nincompoop succeeds nincompoop,
  damning oneself.

Still voting, mumbling typical good-honest-king pap?
Drop tomorrow!
Forget barbaric history!
Follow life!

(Then, revelling steadily, ski round free-loving Romania.)