Apr 30, 2009

Sestina Madness!

The Day Twenty-eight challenge was to write a sestina. Okay. As much poetry as I’ve written in my life I have never written a sestina. Never even heard of a sestina. So what is it?

A form of torture, that’s what it is. Robert Brewer says: “You pick 6 words, rotate them as the end words in 6 stanzas and then include 2 per of the words per line in your final stanza.”

Okay, I can do that. I can even make it rhyme. And this is what I came up with:

Writing a Sestina

A poem that doesn’t rhyme?
How will I find the time?
Maybe an hour or two . . .
Oh, what will I do?
The best I can, I guess.
This poem will be a mess!

I’ll try a line or two . . .
*shrug* It’s what I do.
Though the living room’s a mess
Where’s supper? Anyone’s guess.
In truth, I’ve lots of time.
For a poem that doesn’t rhyme.

Third stanza, I’ve done two . . .
please read them all, please do.
It’s awesome that they rhyme
each and every time.
The rhythm? It’s a mess.
I’ll take it slow, I guess.

Four down and four to do,
four’s so much more than two . . .
My brain is such a mess
I need a snack I guess.
And still my poem has rhyme
Still worthy of my time.

The passing of the time
makes me falter in my rhyme
I’ve lost a marble or two . . .
if you find one, tell me, do!
And still I type this mess
Just stubborn is my guess.

Close to the end I guess.
Can you believe this mess?
I thought that I would do
a stanza, maybe two . . .
Instead I wrote in rhyme,
the champion of all time!

Alas for me this time, sestinas do not rhyme
It doesn’t count I guess. No wonder, it’s a mess!
So now what do I do? Write another, maybe two.

Then I went to an external link where I discovered it’s not enough to use the same end words in each stanza, you have to use them in a specific order. Can we say frustration? I’d just spent the last several hours coming up with that stupid poem that rhymed, only it wasn’t a true sestina.

So I painstakingly went through the whole thing and put the lines in the proper order and came up with the following, which, by the way, is not the one I finally submitted :-) (I'll include it for Creative Friday)

Writing a Sestina

A poem that doesn’t rhyme?
How will I find the time?
Maybe an hour or two . . .
Oh, what will I do?
The best I can, I guess.
This poem will be a mess!

Though the living room’s a mess
This poem still has a rhyme.
Where’s supper? Anyone’s guess.
In truth, I’ve lots of time.
*shrug* It’s what I do.
I’ll try a line or two . . .

Third stanza, I’ve done two . . .
The rhythm? It’s a mess.
Please read it all, please do.
It’s awesome that they rhyme
each and every time.
Just take it slow, I guess.

I need a snack I guess.
Three’s so much more than two . . .
Three down and four to do
My brain is such a mess
And still my poem has rhyme
Still worthy of my time.

I don’t know what to do!
Just keep on going I guess.
Why did I think to rhyme?
I’ve lost a marble or two . . .

And still I type this mess
with the passing of the time.

The champion of all time!
I knew that I could do.
Can you believe this mess?
Close to the end I guess,
a stanza, maybe two . . .
but it doesn’t really rhyme.

No wonder, it’s a mess! Alas for me this time,
sestinas do not rhyme. So now what do I do?
It doesn’t count I guess. Write another, maybe two.

So after creating the above work of art, I gave up on the sestina and worked on the other three poems I had stacked up - poem about an event; poem involving miscommunication; poem of longing. I finished them, got them posted, and managed to get down the first stanza of a real sestina.

I finally finished my sestina, which was not as painful a process as it first appeared to be, and even did the next day’s poem which was to have Never as the first word in the title.

Today is the last day of the challenge.

Have I mentioned how happy that makes me? ;-)

1 comment:

Jamie said...

Wow - all that word rotation and rhyming kind of made my head spin...how's yours feeling? ;-) Great poem, though, no matter how you rotate it!

Congratulations on reaching the end of your challenge! Celebrate!