Posted by Ben Koch

The Golden Rectangle and Fibonacci Spiral

In my explorations of the Fibonacci sequence with my students this year, I have been intrigued by the way the proportions and ratios of these numbers seems to resonate with our notions of beauty and balance. This is generally recognized in terms of the Golden Rectangle/Golden Ratio, which is a form that has manifested–whether consciously or subconsciously–in art (i.e. the Last Supper), architecture (i.e. the Parthenon) and even the modern and mundane (i.e. the iPhone).

As a poet, though, I got to wondering how this mysterious relationship might operate in verbal forms. The most obvious starting place, in order to be quantitative, is to think in terms of syllables. The two poems below represent some early humble attempts at organizing a poetic form around the first 4 Fibonacci numbers (excluding “0”). Subjectively, I do hear an aesthetically pleasing balance. Granted, they do have a very haiku-like flavor, and something about the steady increase in line length lends importance to the final 5 syllable statement.

just (1)

stay (1)

with breath (2)

after rain (3)

ancient colors flash (5)

"After the Rain" by Ben Koch


hollow (1)

stalk (1)

bamboo (2)

whipped by wind (3)

watch the tantrum pass (5)

"Bamboo Stalk" by Ben Koch

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About bensten

Teacher, writer, blogger and spiritual practitioner. Managing editor of

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