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Understanding Poetry: Tetractys

Understanding Poetry: Tetractys

Greek τετρακτύς for tetrad, (triangle of 10 points in total) this poetry form influenced by math and geometry consists of at least 5 lines to form one stanza. A strict syllable count of 1, 2, 3, 4, 10 must be achieved when writing this poem, upon any subject matter (but poems of thought are often used.) Rhyme scheme does not have to be established, but if more stanzas followed for the tetractys then a bereversed (or mirror image palindrome pattern) can be used.

Stanza One
Line One: 1 Syllable
Line Two: 2 Syllables
Line Three: 3 Syllables
Line Four: 4 Syllables
Line Five: 10 Syllables

(if another stanza follows)
Stanza Two
Line One: 10 Syllables
Line Two: 4 Syllables
Line Three: 3 Syllables
Line Two: 2 Syllables
Line One: 1 syllable

Poetry Prompt: Write a one or two stanza tetractys poem. Subject matter: the meaning of life or death.

Image Credit: Pythagoreans celebrate sunriseby Fyodor Bronnikov


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