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Writing Syllabic Poetry

The tetractys is a triangular figure consisting of ten points arranged in four rows: one, two, three, and four points in each row, which is the geometrical representation of the fourth triangular number. It was an important mystical symbol to the secret worship of the Pythagoreans.

The Tetractys, as a form of poetry, was invented by Ray Stebbing. It is made up of five unrhymed lines, consisting of a total of 20 syllables:

  • line one – one syllable
  • line two – two syllables
  • line three – three syllables
  • line four – four syllables
  • line five – ten syllables

Tetractys can be reversed and written 10, 4, 3, 2, 1.

Here is an example:

in her
dark brown urn,
sits on a shelf
at the back of our garage – forgotten

Categories: Poetry Writing Ideas and Prompts

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A writer of short stories.

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