Oct 28, 2010

Italian Sestet

A Sestet can best be described as any six-line stanza. The Italian Sestet originally had no set meter and was rhymed abc abc. The first documented user of this form was the Italian poet, Petrarch, who eventually incorporated it into the Petrarchan Sonnet.

Spenser brought this form to England and eventually the poets there began to use iambic tetrameter or pentameter. They gave the Sestet new rhyme schemes and, following in Petrarch’s footsteps, it was soon expanded into their Sonnets – Spenserian, Shakespearean, and Miltonian.

Today, very few poets consider the Italian Sestet a form in itself and it is seldom used. I actually found the rhyme scheme interesting to follow, but I find the six lines with which to complete my poem somewhat limiting. I can understand why the Sestet was abandoned for the lengthier Sonnet.

Does history dare repeat itself
By turning back the hands of time
And cause the world to backwards spin?
I have witnessed this myself
And wonder, is it such a crime
To reach the end and thus begin?

~ * ~ ~ * ~ ~ * ~

Ah, sleeping cat curled in a ball
I wonder what goes through your mind
When you’re awake and shadow-stalk
Along the floor and down the hall
Seeking prey that’s undefined
With green-eyed vision like a hawk.


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