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:
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.
Poetry is born
in each individual heart.
Care to share your "Fib"?