April 14, 2006

Pen a 'Fib'

There are numerous 'days' and 'months' that we honor such as the World Health Day, the Hispanic Culture Month, International Women's Day, and many many more. This month is apparently the "National Poetry Month" and the "National Mathematics Month". What better way to commemorate both of these creative fields of study than by inventing a new poetic form that was born out of a mathematical progression!

Gregory Pincus, a fellow blogger, did just that; coined a new form of poetry called "Fibs"; a six line poem that uses a mathematical progression, the Fibonacci sequence, to dictate the number of syllables in each line. This form has generated a lot of interest not just within the blogger world but also among math lovers who feel a need to dabble in poetry. To quote a 32 year old researcher in AT&T Labs the "Fib" attracted him because it reminded him of "what a computer scientist would call the 'resource constraint'". On the other hand, Annie Finch, a poet and teacher loves the form because it offers a new constraint, and poets "love constraints that allow the self to step out of the picture a little bit. The form gives you something to dance with so it's not just you alone on the page".

The "Fib" is reminiscent of the Haiku which also derives its form from a syllabic pattern (5, 7, 5), and is also a short poem of only three lines. The "Fib", however, is a six line poem with a syllabic pattern based on the Fibonacci progression that starts with' 0 and 1 and then continues to add numbers that are equal to the sum of the previous two numbers'. The syllabic sequence in a "Fib" would thus read like this: 0-1-1-2-3-5-8. The 0 signifying that each first line in a "Fib" is silent (so in fact the "Fib" is a seven line poem).

Here's a "Fib' by Motoko Rich of the NYTimes:

and rumour
But how about a
Rare, geeky form of poetry?

Here's my tribute to poetry, a genre that transcends form, but could live within it as well.

Not always.
Poetry is born
in each individual heart.

Care to share your "Fib"?


Lisa Francisco said...


Thanks for the short education on poetry. I'm just stopping by to say HI!

Wild Reeds said...

writing some
of this stuff
myself, when I get time!

Nasir said...

Good information...

though i tried a bit to make a Fib ...but...but...
I cant really make it out.

let me see if I can get something in mind at some other time.
I particularly liked Urs.
makes sense.

BD said...


EXSENO said...

Very nice, wish I could share, but I only write what I feel without any respect to guidelines or form. I'm afraid I have only feelings not the intelligence to go with them.

Ajay said...

great one

Voice Within said...

This is interesting, but it will be sometime b4 i can write one..

Nasir said...

I cannt get the rules!

I tried,ended with this one which surely is not a Fib.

all around,
Without His face.
Towards that bright flame
searching for a new life,
my soul racing ahead of me.

Do you find something in above lines..
Words are in arthmatic progression...(least count-1)

Do inform about rules of Feb.(also do above words make sense)

Id it is said...

The first line of the Fib has to have a word with only 1 syllable (a group of letters with only one vowel sound) ex say, you, free...
The next line will also have only one word of 1 syllable.
The third line will have 2 syllables which could be in tw separate words or else in one single word, ex 'to live', 'freedom'..
The fourth line will have three syllables (sum of the syllables in the previous two lines) ex 'loneliness', 'is alone'..
So it goes on until you have six lines that abide by the same mathematical progression.
Basically you have to select a subject and then articulate your say within the six line form of the Fib.
Your poem is about a soul in quest of light, a beautiful idea, now all you have to do is resting it in the syllabic pattern.

samrina said...


Thnx alot for such a nice post:)


Invincible said...

white lie
when it changed
into a type of poem ?
loved this syllabic concoction

Does that form a fib-onacci.

Mr. J said...

It is.
Nice post
This sounds gud.

Duhh.. will try again.

Hermit Chords said...

dropped by,
estranged rogue stranger
knocking for a glass of water

bablu said...

Quite interesting ...
Lemme try a FIB -
would like
to always see
Poverty eradicated from this world.

Id it is said...

A near perfect "Fib",just a wee bit of realignment; and you're so right on the thought!

Would like
to see poverty
eradicated forever.

Dr. Deborah Serani said...

I love when new art forms are created!!!

Invincible said...

isnt 'white' monosyllabic ?
it's not the vowels but the pronunciation that creates a syllable
e.g. scrounge is monosyllabic.

karmic_jay said...

Lovely.. Am gonna try it when I get a chance. :)
Poetry ain't my thing though I appreciate anyone who can write it :)

_Jonathan_ said...

To do
a nice thing
with all these limits.

Free poetry rulz!!

Id it is said...

I apologize. You're right about 'white' being a monsyllabic.

Ayesha said...

wow, really cool stuff!!