The Snowflake and the Robin: a tetractys poem

A poem about a robin and a snowflake

The Robin and the Snowflake | Poem & Artwork by Lesley Scoble

My idea for the poem The Snowflake and the Robin is inspired by, and written in response to the W3 Prompt #34 by the Poet of the Week D. Avery.

The Prompt

D. Avery’s prompt guidelines

Write a ‘Tetractys’;
•A further challenge is for the first and last word to be the same;
•A double or triple Tetractys, in either order would be okay.

•At least 5 lines of 1, 2, 3, 4, 10 syllables (total of 20);
•Can be written with more than one verse, but must follow suit with an inverted syllable count;
•Can also be reversed and written 10, 4, 3, 2, 1;
•Double Tetractys: 1, 2, 3, 4, 10, 10, 4, 3, 2, 1;
•Triple Tetractys: 1, 2, 3, 4, 10, 10, 4, 3, 2, 1, 1, 2, 3, 4, 10; and so on…

Oh, no! I’ve only just noticed there is an added challenge of starting and ending the poem with the same word! (not going to happen). The discipline of this tetractys form I find vexing! I write lines that all seem to have 8 or 11 syllables! (Anyway, isn’t a Tetractys a dinosaur?). If you’ve never written a tetractys before, why not have a go?

The Snowflake and the Robin

to the robin
in whispers spake,
Snowflakes will lie soft at your feet and sigh!
Listen to your sweet song ‘fore melting, die.
Your festive call
belongs to
them, and

Redbreast sings
his tuneful air.
A lonely, midwinter song, trilling fair.
Snowflakes falling, listening to his song
in quiet awe.
that’s absurd
said the

watch the
and the robin
The little bird asks, From whence comes this snow?
It floats from the sky to melt at your feet
(‘tis what I heard).
That is sweet,
said the

Lesley Scoble.  December 2022

My thanks to David at Skeptics Kaddish W3 Prompt #34  and to the Poet of the Week D. Avery for their prompt and poetic encouragement. 


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