Editor's Note

Welcome to Issue #7 of the Fib Review. This issue posed many challenges and discussions regarding the strict definition of syllable count. The Fibonacci form is one of many forms such as the Cinquain, the Etheree, the Quinzaine or Tectractys that use a syllable count as one of the requirements of the form. Some argue that the counting of syllables takes the poetic impulse in a different direction. Throughout the history of poetry, poets have been challenged with similar issues, sometimes even creating words such as "o'er" to replace the word "over," to conform to a strict meter or rhyme. One chooses to write to the form and submit to finger counting to get the count correct, or simply choose another form or free form.

Phonetics is used in language to study how speech sounds are made. It deciphers a word through syllable and accent. However, colloquial pronunciation of words like "poem" or "tired" is a challenge to an editor who needs to research the proper syllable count of questionable words within submitted poems. To the surprise of both poet and editor, several poems in this issue needed to be changed as a result.

Nowhere is it written, though, that the Fibonacci poem must strictly be a syllable count poetry form. In the past issues and in this current issue some poets have chosen the use word count and even line count in the Fibonacci number sequence. A refreshing change to syllable count, the word count poem is certainly easier to spot an error in the number sequence. It also allows the poet more poetic ability to use a word that represents what the poet would like to say, despite how many syllables it contains.

The Fib Review will continue to allow poets to explore new ways of creating poetry within the confines of this specific form, whether it is the more traditional syllable count or word count, and will continue to publish quality poems as you will find in these issues.

Mary-Jane Grandinetti

What is a Fib?

The Fibonacci poem is a 6-line short poetry form that is based on the structure of the Fibonacci sequence. For those unfamiliar with the Fibonacci Sequence, it is a mathematical sequence in which every figure is the sum of the two preceding it. Thus, you begin with 1 and the sequence follows as such: 1+1=2; then in turn 1+2=3; then 2+3=5; then 3+5=8 and so on. The poetry sequence therefore consists of six lines of 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, and 8, with each number representing the number of syllables that a writer places in each line of the poem. Initially poems were written with 6 lines, but now many poets experiment with poems that go well into higher digits, or with poems that are in reversed sequence. As a literary device, it is used as a formatted pattern in which one can offer meaning in any organized way, providing the number sequence remains the constancy of the form.

The subject of the Fibonacci poem has no restriction, but the difference between a good fib and a great fib is the poetic element that speaks to the reader. No longer just a fun form to write as a math student, the poets who write good Fibonacci poems have replaced the 'geek' with the poet.

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