Wednesday, 1 May 2013

A Tetractys On War

Image Source: John Buchanan

This morning I was introduced to the concept of the tetractys poem.

The tetractys was made famous by Pythagoras and has since become a modern poetry form. The form is based on the number ten which was thought to be a number of power. The name tetractys poetry derives from the fact that the syllable count of the first four lines equals ten.

A tetractys has in total, five lines, each having a syllables count of 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 10.

This format gives the poem a triangle shape. The format can be played with to produce "reversed tetractys" and "double tetractys". The following poem is a double tetractys, I hope you enjoy it.

A Tetractys On War

War,
soldiers
clear up failed
diplomacy.
Struggling to stay alive in muddy fields,
whilst politicians, back at home, squabble
like small children
about who
they should
blame.

John Carré Buchanan
01 May 2013

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