Friday, March 12, 2010

Edgar Allan Poe: Near A Raven

Have you ever tried constrained writing? I've done it a couple of times, enjoying the challenge -- and it can be fun. As an example of this genre, Georges Perec wrote a 300-page novel without using the letter 'e', which, as it happens, occurs several times in his own name. Mike Keith, a mathematician, is incredibly good at constrained poetry. Read his Poe, E.: Near A Raven, which is Edgar Allan Poe's famous poem 'The Raven' rewritten to the constraints of π (pi), namely, 3.141493 ...

"At the time of its writing in 1995, this composition in Standard Pilish, a retelling of Edgar Allan Poe's 'The Raven', was one of the longest texts ever written using the π constraint, in which the number of letters in each successive word 'spells out' the digits of π (740 digits in this example) ..."

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