Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Did You Know that April is both National Poetry Month and Mathematics Awareness Month?

I saw this web clip in my Google sidebar: Man trading up from paper clip to house. The guy uses Craigslists and travels around trading stuff - he started with a red paperclip and has ended up with a year's free rent in Arizona. I wonder if there's any interest in dryer lint. I have a ton of it left over from the frenzied Wash-a-Thon over the past weekend. (It is nice to have all clean clothes, though)

The next clip down is from Bitch PhD - she links to a New York Times article on Peeps. Every year there's stuff about Peeps everywhere. I'll be glad when they go back into storage for another year. They're kinda creepy - like they might wake up from their undead sleep and come peck our eyes out.

Then I see on the same NYTimes web page a sidebar link to "Fibonacci Poems Multiply on the Web After Blog's Invitation". A Mr. Gregory K. Pincus posts an invitation on his blog for readers to post their Fibs: "six-line poems that used a mathematical progression known as the Fibonacci sequence to dictate the number of syllables in each line."

Slashdot picked it up and now there are (says the NYTimes online) thousands of these Fibs on the internet and hundreds of links back to this guy's blog. I note also, that there are 226 comments on the original post. Lots of folk out there who love to write mathematically structured poetry. I just don't appreciate poetry like I should, I suppose. Or, I should say more modern poetry. I loved the stuff I studied in Renaissance and Romantic Lit. I start to dislike it from the mid 20th century... but I digress...

OK, where was I, oh! Besides living with a math guy, I love the animated feature The Phantom Tollbooth- featuring the voices of Mel Blanc, June Foray and Hans Conried, directed by Chuck Jones. There's a 'conflict' between words and numbers going on in this movie and a young boy has an adventure in this cartoon world. I watched it over and over with the kids and when I was teaching a combined 3rd and 4th grade class we read it and then watched the movie when we finished the book. One of the things I learned about watching that movie - in my late 30's - was about the Fibonacci sequence (0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13, etc.). So, I found it pretty cool that there's someone out there popularizing this "Fib" poetry. Even though I couldn't write one to save my life. Seriously, I can't write poetry. I can write doggerel, but I haven't the discipline to work over and over a poem - and since the sonnet is dead, I wouldn't like my poems anyway!

Well, this post was supposed to go up Sunday but I posted the duckie instead. And then I posted the thing about the Pulitzers on Monday. Last night I was too tired to think, so here it is!
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2 comments:

Matt D. said...

Well, according to urban dictionary, vide means "To walk around in a thong in the shape of an elephant."

Dawno said...

*headsmack* I should have thought to look in the urban dictionary!

Thanks, Matt!