Friday, April 14, 2006

New frontiers in teddy bear poetry

Hi there. Thought I would take a break from the narrative thread. Don't worry, we'll get back to our regularly scheduled programming. But this morning I read an exciting article on the newest thing in internet poetry. I'm not really into the newest and the sleekest, but this idea struck me as worthy. I'm talking about The Fib!

Yeah, I know it is geeky. Number theory is for pencil heads (though I have to admire the simplicity of some proofs like Euclid's demonstration that there are an infinite number of primes). But want do you want a bear to do? I live in a house with Professor Pudge Bear and Ozzie. There are math history jokes flying around all over the place. If you're not hip to the fact that Riemann pioneered differential geometry, you're like to miss some pun about sums ... or something. I don't know. I've never studied math myself. The first time they were talking about Cauchy sequences, I thought Pudgie and Ozzie were talkin' 'bout a Japanese breakfast cereal. But that doesn't mean I can't appreciate that there is beauty in numbers. For instance, there is only one Goofball -- that is a beautiful fact.

Anywho, the Fib is a six-line poem based on the Fibonacci sequence. 1-1-2-3-5-8. Easy enough, right? Well, I figured I would take the new meter round the block a few times to see what it can do.

Bears
like
cuddling
and napping
with comfy people.
Skinny people are okay, too.


Not bad. Not bad. There might be some promise in this Fib thing. It's pretty flexible. But the sign of a good poetry form is that it helps you explore important truths about the world.

Why
do
teddy
bears make for
good cohabitants?
We neither judge nor eat your fudge.


Now, a statement doesn't get much truer than that, does it? The "judge" "fudge" rhyme is a little clunky and noone really eats fudge nowadays, but chocolate just didn't fit the last line. Hey, I'm a teddy bear so cut me some slack. You get what you pay for.

I
don't
like to
boast without warrant.
I once ate a sixty ounce steak.


The whole poem is a pun, see? I don't eat steak, so it is a fib. Okay, okay, so that is pretty weak. But the name Fib is just too tempting, I couldn't resist.

I wonder what else we could try. Harnassing the dorky power of math to create new poetic meters seems easy enough. I bet we could come up with other new forms of poetry.

The square
grows too quickly
for a good poetry meter.


Ain't that the truth? What about something that grows more slowly.

Even
numbers are not
interesting meters
either. Long live the jazzy fib.


Hmmm. This might be harder than it looks.

Perhaps perfect squares work as acceptable poetic meters.
You begin with sixteen syllables.
End with nine, four,
one.


Hey, that has promise. The opening line of sixteen is a little clunky, but we can make it work. Here is an Motto for Ozzie ...

My days are filled analyzing data and writing articles.
I do not work for fame and fortune.
Knowledge is my
goal.


That's enough poetry for one morning. And that enough math for a whole week. But I just had to give this Fib thing a whirl.

3 Comments:

Blogger OneEar said...

O,
Oh
Is One
To Behold
Among golden strings
Tying dangling mathematics
To spiraling sea shells, pine petals and pineapples

12:16 PM  
Blogger Wagsy said...

Umm ...
Ooof.
My brain's
Too furry
To count syllables
And compose poetry as well.
I raise my paw to thee so verbally talented.

2:06 PM  
Blogger Gregory K. said...

I don't have a bear icon, but I hope I can still sign in and say "nice Fibbing." Interesting ideas, too. I've been seeing Pi poems (Pi-etry, I call it) and tons of variants on the form. All have limits or obstacles, but hey...that's the fun.

1:21 AM  

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