Today we will attempt writing Tetractys poems. I have not used this form yet for Poetry Month and I will be trying it out for the first time along with all of you.
This poetic form was created by Ray Stebbing and consists of 20 total syllables, with no need for rhyming (although you can rhyme if you wish) arranged in the following fashion:
NOTE: For the first one syllable line strive to use an interesting word; not just the article “A” or “The”
Line 1 ~ one syllable
Line 2 ~ two syllables
Line 3 ~ three syllables
Line 4 ~ four syllables
Line 5 ~ TEN syllables
So, that’s the basic outline, but things get more interesting than that! This could be a magical poem for you! The ancient Greek mathematician, Euclid of Alexandria, felt the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4 were magical because they add up to TEN. And there are your first ten syllables. The last ten syllables all fall on the same line, 5.
And that can stand alone as a complete Tetractys poem.
However, there can also be Double and Triple Tetractys poems, etc. simply by reversing the process.
Here’s an example of the form for more than one verse:
(and if you want a third verse, flip it again)
(You can make as many verses are you wish as long as each subsequent verse
is reversed from the previous one in terms of the syllable count).
Here is my example:
And sweet as
Ours can only
Grow with forgiveness, humor, and patience
Over the years we have experienced
Loss of our son
© 2019 Stephanie Abney
PLEASE REMEMBER ~ any poetry found on this blog, written by me, is my personal property and may not be used without my permission, other than sharing it as an example in a lesson or to read it to someone. The same goes for any poems that are shared in the comments of this blog or elsewhere online as a result of this challenge. They are the creative property of the person who writes them. These poems are their original work and no one may use them without their permission. It is understood that they own the copyright to them as soon as they post them. Thanks so much!
Also, if you choose to post your poems on your own blog ~ that’s awesome. But PLEASE don’t just copy and paste my daily instructions, but rather post your poem on your blog or your FB wall or wherever AND LINK BACK TO THIS BLOG POST for others to come here to read the instructions. I’ve spent considerable time researching the poetry forms and writing them up to share with you. Thanks for respecting my work and the creative work of others.
Photo: courtesy of Stephanie Abney