Declining The Tetractys

Okay, so The Real Toads are playing a more formal game this weekend, asking us to write something called a Tetractys. They tell us:

The tetractys was invented by Ray Stebbings, who says this about the form: “Euclid, the mathematician of classical times, considered the number series 1,2,3,4 to have mystical significance because its sum is 10, so he dignified it with a name of its own–Tetractys. The tetractys could be Britain’s answer to the haiku. Its challenge is to express a complete thought, profound or comic, witty or wise, within the narrow compass of twenty syllables.”

The tetractys is a five-line poem with 20 total syllables, in a lovely and balanced arrangement, like this: 1–2–3–4–10

So the first four lines together have ten syllables and the last line has ten syllables.

Here’s mine:

I don’t
play those games.
It’s not my style.
Counting syllables is just not my thing.

Real Toads Write Tetractys Here

13 thoughts on “Declining The Tetractys

  1. This is very clever and…honest! I don’t mind counting syllables as long as they are not more than seventeen but..I hate doing rhymes. Not smart enuff, ya know?

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