A celebration of poetry written by members and friends of the MuseItUp Club. Submissions are invited for
Fibonacci Poems or “Fibs”
Examples and an explanation
by Pamela A. Shirkey
Beautiful and deep.
Death can hide behind a white mask.
What is a Fib? It's a 20 syllable poem with a syllable count by line of 1/1/2/3/5/8 -the classic
Fibonacci sequence. These sequences have long been part of various poetic structures. However, "the Fib" is a Gregory
K. Pincus take on the idea. Read about it here in the New York Times article:
What are Pincus' rules governing Fibs? The most important thing other than the syllable
count of 1/1/2/3/5/8 is that all rules can be broken.
Fibbing focuses on word choice and a rule that some Fib writers hold themselves to is "no articles
or conjunctions in the ONE syllable lines."
There's definitely a difference between good Fibs and ones that read like a 20
syllable sentence broken into Fib form. Often, that difference is in focusing on those two one-syllable lines: "Fish/swim."
is a stronger start than "He/is." If there's a natural break between the lines, it usually reads better. If a thought can
finish at a line end, that's great. Some writers love using the eight-syllable line in counterpoint or as a thought of
Then there are Fibs that tend to fall into subsets: Pop Culture Fibs, Rhyming Fibs (Traditionally,
Fibonacci poetry is not a rhyming form. But it CAN rhyme.), and Fibs that fib are three examples mentioned on Pincus' site.
Fibs can have a title but try to limit it to fewer that seven words.
I would like to add SciFi Fibs to the genre - Fibs that have a science fiction or fantasy theme
similar to SciFiKu (haiku with speculative fiction subjects http://www.scifaiku.com).
My Ganymede Girl
Her teeth sharp.
Snakes writhe in her hair.
Interspecies love conquers all.
floats through space.
Once an explorer -
Now a tomb aimed toward distant stars.
Kubrick's Space Odessey
Bones fly up
morphing into bombs
hanging over our heads in space.
Now that you know how a Fib poem is created, why don't you give it a whirl?
© Pamela A. Shirkey
Of all the writing that Pam Shirkey does -- professional, technical, advertising copy, editing,
non-fiction articles and interviews -- she enjoys fiction writing the most. She has had numerous fiction pieces
published and has won writing prizes in haiku, poetry, flash fiction, short stories, and creative non-fiction. She
is one of the contributing authors featured in The Muse On Writing book and is currently working on a dark