Sunday, 11 July 2010
I'm speaking at the Ledbury Poetry Festival today about the connections between maths and poetry.
Among other things, I am going to be talking about Fibs: a peom with 1,1,2,3,5,8,13 syllables per line. The numbers follow the famous Fibonacci sequence first discovered, not by Fibonacci in fact, but by Indian poets counting the number of rhythms possible with long and short beats.
They were recently championed by Gregory Pincus who created this Fib to describe the form:
One , Small, Precise, Poetic, Spiraling mixture: Math plus poetry yields the Fib.
I set a challenge on my twitter @marcusdusautoy for people to send me Fibs and I would choose the best to present during my talk. The one I chose is the following by @benbush
Tweet/Tweet/Marcus/Here's my fib/(An unwise ad lib?)/Wait: fib? On Twitter? I'm confused/How many of my 140 have I used?
Here are a selection of the other great twitter fibs I got sent. Thanks everyone for all your efforts. Really enjoyed reading them.
Shell/Snow/Spiral/Sunflower/Natural music/Beautiful living and growing/Mathematics labels the natural growth of life
one/ two/ yahoo/ lets make three/ now five is harder/ 8 is slightly contrived i think/ bugger, 13 doesnt scan very elegantly
Broad/ Bean./ You're green./ And starchy./ I caress your skin;/ Helps keep my finger on the pulse/And - randomly - engenders dreams of Fibonacci.
Let, Me, Twitter, Youmyday, Firstofallbreakfast, Thenlunch,dinner&suppertoo, Finallyit'stimeforbed,justonemoretorestmyhead.
Black/ then/ White are/ all I see/ in my infancy/ Red & Yellow then came to be/ reaching out to me lets me see there is much in me
Things will seem quite clear
Home - the place where you can return
Is the place where you can relax and ease all your fear
From @daniellekurant (and thanks for the plug for my new book)
I/ love/ numbers/ just as a/ fish out of water/ loves to be cast into the sea/ what sweet freedom is found in these Number Mysteries
From @floppymonkey a mini Fib
Yes We Have some Bananas!
From @mrgrasshead the first Fib to be written by a potplant
I/ Love/ Water/ But also/ Pure Mathematics./ Hydrodynamics is my thing!
From @dudegalea who tweeted after sending me half a dozen fibs: ""What A Rotten Thing to do! Saturday morning Wasted writing silly poems!
Shall/ I/ Compare/ Math poems/ To Shakespeare's sonnets?/ Thou art more geeky, and formal!
Maths/ And/ Poems/ Do not mix/ They say but you lure/ The logical mind to capture/ English and confine it into constricted beauty
From @Kateviola (who worried about how many syllables Ledbury has)
O, Hi, Marcus, du Sautoy, Ledbury Festival, Innovative Fibonaccist, Combining words & numbers in true Renaissance style.
From @christianp (who wanted the first line as "Er, Dork, Author" but felt that was a bit disrespectful then noticed he'd missed the number 3. But I like the message so included it here:
hey! you! marcus! we have got to talk / your convoluted verse structure / tends to prose as the length of the poem increases