[ by Charles Cameron — serpent, dragon — take your pick ]
I’ve been interested in the form of the serpent that bites its own tail at least since I was in Oxford and wrote the poem:
Putting it in a circle-with-tail like that, however, was a much later business, dating to a time when I was figuring out how to annotate recursion in a HipBone game move, and suddenly realized I’d tumbled on the smallest HipBone game board in the process..
Recursion is a key indicator, as Douglas Hofstadter explained in Godel Escher Bach, and as the Cretan philosopher Epimenides knew, with St Paul echoing him at Titus 1.12:
One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.
The God Hates Fags church protesting Kim Davis, the Rowan (Kentucky) County Clerk who fasted, prayed, and then refused to issue licenses to gay couples who wished to marry, is surely a serpent bites tail moment..
Unless, perhaps, publicity is your god, your sole aim and glory.