|This page has two sources. One is Ralph Waldo Emerson's essay Self Reliance, which a group of students at Bryn Mawr College read as the finale for a course on the The Emotional Landscape of Classical Nineteenth-Century Texts in Spring 2006. The second is a The New York Times article (4/14/06) about a new fad of Fibonacci Poems. Based on the Fibonacci number sequence (0-1-1-2-3-5-8...), such poems--sort of sophisticated haikus--were said to satisfy poets' "hunger for constraint": "This form gives you something to dance with so it's not just you alone on the page."|
Fibonacci Shell Spiral
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Inspired by Emerson's belief that "words are the signs of natural facts," we experimented in class with using the "natural fact" of the Fibonacci sequence to highlight the best passages from his prose, and re-position them as "fibs." In doing so, we noticed several things|
Listen, now, to Emerson "fibbing," as we place more constraints on him, do some serious editing/playing. And feel free to imagine (and send us, if you'd like; we're happy to add to the collection) what other forms Emersonian poems might take: a spiral, as below, or beat ("emmmmmmerson..."), or rap?
to dance with: find a
sentence. Turn it into a poem.
Anne's initial experiments
May Day Addendum