Sunday, December 15, 2013

Poetry Project: Sestinas!

Sorry this edition is late, I was spectacularly busy.

I've found that my method of selecting poems was a bit too random.  So, I've decided to do a different theme each week.  This week, it's sestinas.

A sestina is a poetic form in which the last word in each line is rotated in a set pattern.  There are six stanzas, each containing six lines, and there is an envoi at the end consisting of three lines.  It creates some interesting effects, but is difficult to write, particularly because the line endings can sound repetitive.

I read a few sestinas this week, and the best one was probably A.E. Stallings' "Sestina: Like".  However, Algernon Swinburne gets an honorable mention for being amazing/crazy enough to write a double sestina, 'The Complaint of Lisa'

I have tried writing sestinas myself and, if you are brave enough to attempt one,  I've found that the sestin-a-matic is a really useful tool.  It will keep track of how the line endings change.