What Is Tetractys 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
Here is an example:
You can also reverse a tetractys so that you have the five lines 10,4,3,2 1 syllables.
Another idea you might want to get your children to experiment with is writing tetractys poems about simple facts. These might be linked to a project or even maths or English terms.
Here are two examples:
Now it’s time to let your children experiment and see what wonderful poems they can com e up with.