Issue #4  

Editor’s Note

I wrote my first Fibonacci poem as a joke. I thought the structure to be a formula rather than a poem, so I didn’t take it seriously. Unfortunately, so do some poets who focus more on form than on poetry. My only other experience with short poetry was haiku, which thanks to thousands of grammar school English teachers, has been taught as a 5,7,5 syllabic poem, since there was no other means of translating the Japanese sound, “onji” in the West. Modern haiku poets understand the importance of the elements of haiku rather than just a syllable count.

In a strange set of turns, I found myself involved in an online virtual reality experience called Second Life. It was there that I found a community of serious poets and writers who use the virtual world as a means of communication and a form of expression for their writing. What I found in the poetry workshops and readings was that most poets were writing long poetry. With the help of another writer, I started the Short Poetry Workshop series, which focuses on learning a new short poetry form each week. It was in researching short poetry forms that I discovered how closely related many of the poetry forms are to each other with set syllabic patterns, such as the Cinquain, the Etheree, or the Quinzane.

My investigation into the history of Fibonacci and Fibonacci poems, popularized and nicknamed the “Fib” by Greg Pincus in 2006, brought me to some interesting facts. There have been a few poets over the years who have laid claim to “inventing” the Fibonacci poem, but in reality, Leonardo Pisaro (also known as Fibonacci), published the Liber Abaci in 1202, introducing the number sequence, later to be named the Fibonacci sequence. He is said to have found instances of this sequence used in Sanskrit poetry of the 12th century. The sequence itself was reportedly discovered by the Sanskrit grammarian Pingala, in 500 BC.

The Fib Review publishes some of the best Fibonacci poems available on the internet. The selection of poems focuses on poetry, meaning, and style. While it is easier to write a 20-syllable sentence or phrase into a structured form of 1,1,2,3,5,8, it is far more difficult to write a good poem using a limited number of words. What the research into short poetry forms has taught me is that the ratio of each syllable or word in a short poetry form carries much more weight per syllable or word than that of the longer poetry forms. To get a point across in a short poem, each word must be carefully chosen to deliver the message, the meaning, or the sentiment of the poet in the written word. With sincere gratitude, I thank R. G. Rader and Muse-Pie Press for the opportunity to work with such talented poets as you will read in the Writers section of this fourth issue of the Fib Review.