augury doggerel

Thursday, August 10, 2006

She Loves Me...

If you were to count the whorls of flowerets on the head of a sunflower — but you wouldn't. I wouldn't. Not now.

But if at another time we counted, sunwise and widdershins, the leftwise and rightwise whorls of yellow flowerets.

While the bees walked around.

We would count fifty-five this way and thirty-four the other, or eighty-nine this way and fifty-five the other, or some other consecutive pair of integers in the series 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, 377, 610, 987, 1597, 2584, 4181, 6765, 10946, …

This is because the first sunflower was carved and cast by Leonardo da Pisa, Leonardo Pisano, Leonardo Bigollo, Leonardo Fibonacci, a certain 13th century Italian florist and tinkerer. Fibonacci, it is supposed, must have been the son of a man named Bonacci. Or the son of good fortune.

If Fibonacci was the son of a man named Bonacci and if Fibonacci had had a son in turn, the son's son might have been called Fifibonacci, the son of the son of Bonacci, or simple Fifi, for children are cruel, and the series might have ended right there.

By Henry Gibson.


At 12:58 pm, Blogger tuckova said...

I had to look up Henry Gibson. Then I started to laugh. Actually, I am still laughing. And picturing you in a Nehru jacket.

At 1:36 pm, Blogger suzanne said...

I knew which Henry Gibson
it was
as soon as I saw the name
and put it with the words!

widdershins is exactly
a word Henry Gibson would use
(and one which I
as a spinner of yarns
also highly favor)

actually I have an immense crush
on Fibonacci

have written
several paeans to him
and his series

At 4:41 pm, Blogger Fred said...

Great to have you back, and to discover that Gibson ventured into more elaborate territory than his 'I like' poems.


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