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Word for the Wise July 27, 2006 Broadcast Topic: Your fibs

Not too long ago, we talked about Fibs—the poem created in honor of Leonardo Fibonacci, the Italian mathematician who identified the Fibonacci sequence, a series of numbers beginning with one, one, (or zero, one) where each new term is generated as the sum of the previous two terms. The Fibonacci poem, or Fib, follows a pattern in which the first two lines count one syllable each, the third line has two syllables, the fourth line has three, the fifth five, and the sixth line has eight. After describing the Fib, we asked listeners to come up with their own Fibs and send 'em along. (来源:英语杂志 http://www.EnglishCN.com)

And send them they did. One of our favorite—okay, our very favorite—mathematician wrote this verse in honor of Signor Fibonacci:

Is/One/One, Two/Three, Five, Eight/(Not Two, Four, Six, Eight)/Why we deem Leonardo great?

That numbers man also offered this musing:

I/Find/It Fun/Believing/Mathematicians'/Playful excuses for being.

But our favorite Fib came from an Australian professor, who asked:

How/Does/Counting/Syllables/Even cleverly/Make Something you'd call a rhyme scheme?

His point is a good one. The Fib is a poetic form (in the mold of the unrhymed haiku), but it should not be described as a rhyme scheme. Rhyme scheme refers to the formal arrangement of rhymes in a stanza or poem. Rhymes—which come in many varieties—produce sounds that appeal to the ear and that are used to unify and establish a poem's form.

 
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