28 Oct 2008

What is Fibonacci Poetry?

The term Fibonacci Poetry seems to have been coined by Gregory K. He describes how he thought up the idea:

"At the 2005 SCBWI-LA Writer’s Day, poet-novelist Ron Koertge mentioned the idea of “warming up” each day by writing haiku. To paraphrase what he said, writing haiku keeps you in tune with the importance of word choice and how you can say so much with so little… with the goal being that subconsciously you will continue to be aware of both points whenever and whatever you write.

I was intrigued, but my geeky mind immediately began to churn. Why just haiku? I wanted something that required more precision. That led me to a six line, 20 syllable poem with a syllable count by line of 1/1/2/3/5/8 – the classic Fibonacci sequence."

In an age of abbreviations the Fibonacci poem is now often shortened to a Fib, with the poet known as a Fibber. There are websites that will accept your Fibs for publication but the main purpose, at least for the originator, was to devise a closed quick yet subtle exercise to explore the richness and vividness of a few choice words.

I also saw that one comment on the Fib blog had a neat palindromic Fib, with the structure 1-1-2-3-5-8-5-3-2-1-1. Clever!

here is an example:

Is now
At an end,
Well, I gotta shoot.
So leave a comment now my friend.

1 comment:

  1. Great to see a post about Fibs and Fibonacci poetry in general. I would like to clarify, though: I certainly didn't coin the term Fibonacci poetry. That's been around for a long time (besides the rhythms being found in Sanskrit poetry, I mean the actual term). While I dubbed 6 line, 20 syllable poems based on the first numbers of the Fibonacci sequence "Fibs", Fibonacci poetry itself is any poetry based on the Fibonacci sequence, not just the 6 line variety.

    In other words, some Fibonacci poems use the 13 or 21 or 34 syllable lines. Some poets have written counting words instead of syllables or sentences instead of a syllables. People write poems that go up to a certain syllable line and then reverse back down to the two single syllable lines. And so on and so on in variations galore.

    And yes... the palindrome Fib was impressive indeed. It's remarkable to me how much amazing work I've seen based on something that seems so restrictive. Plus, it's fun to see people writing poetry in general!


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