Hear the name The Fib Review and you may think it is a journal dedicated to literature about lies. But actually, it showcases a unique form of poetry—the Fibonacci poem. Based off of the Fibonacci sequence (0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13 . . . or Fn = Fn-1 + Fn-2), the poems use the number of words or syllables on a line to build the pattern, making the journal a wonderful creative outlet for math-lovers.
But, of course, the poems can’t just be for pattern’s sake; they must be able to stand alone as poems. Editor Mary-Jane Grandinetti writes, “The difficulty in writing a Fib is after the poem is written, is it really a poem, or is it just a statement broken down into a pattern that fits the number sequence?” While all the poems in this issue are not my favorite, it’s safe to say that they are all really poems—and not just a pattern.
Tiana Cutright contributes a four part poem titled “Immortality”, in which each part repeats the sequence. My favorite section is the second:
bedding, not with myths,
but beneath your factual bones
Laurie Kolp’s “Ballerina Branches” compares a ballerina’s limbs in arabesque to the branches of the tree “across the window / As you try to sleep. Fear not my wistful ways; just watch.”
And while most of the poems are short, no longer than five lines or so, some poems venture further such as Kit Kennedy’s “Question” which hits twenty-one words in the last line: “into a colorful pattern (a Fibonacci sequence) no one in her immediate circle would second guess nor rudely question her, why.”
Aalix Roake’s seemingly untitled poem elegantly ends “Since now we can see / All the cracks in our minds and hearts.”
And a writer’s archive offers up each past contributors name along with the issues that they have appeared in, making it clear that once a lot of these writers have begun to use this style, they will return to it. What an interesting and great thing when English and math can meld into one.