Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Poetic Forms - the Sestina

I had a thought today, that it might be fun to write myself a sestina poem for my poem tomorrow. Then I looked up the rules for the sestina. I'm afraid I got scared and chickened out.

I've taken a look on Google, trying to find something that may encourage me to at least think more about the form. I found some guides that didn't interest me, even though they did a good enough job of explaining the intricate rules. They just made it seem boring, to try to write one. Then I found these instructions.

They made the process seem amusing, and clever. So perhaps I'll have a proper look tomorrow, and begin working on suitable words to use for a sestina. But for tomorrow's poem, I think I'll pick something simple like a bit of free verse.

Writing poetry can be as simple or as difficult as you like. I often find myself writing rhyming verse, particularly if I'm writing something amusing. But some of my serious verse has been rhyming too. I find the poem seems to reach out and tell me which form to use, once I've begun writing it.

I'm sure that isn't going to happen with the sestina, it's too structured for that. Tomorrow's poem will be something simple, I think.

Once I've written and posted my poem for tomorrow though, the sestina may serve to keep me amused for part of the day! Have you ever tried a sestina? If you did, I'd love to hear about the experience!


TimT said...

I reckon it's got to be traditional - it's no fun if it's a sestina without meter. Otherwise all you'd have to do is invent a series of sentences that end in the right words.

The first semi-successful sestina I ever wrote was about how confusing philosophy is, so I didn't much bother trying to make it make sense - I just let it get more and more nonsensical.

The second one was of course this on my blog; I think the subject was fairly appropriate, and so I found I had lots to write about, and a form that suited it.

McSweeney's used to publish fun sestinas but they've stopped now. They had some good fresh ideas about the form.

Now I'll go back to my current project... any suggestions on what rhymes with 'There was a man from Nantucket'?

Carolyn Cordon said...

Haha, funny Tim. Thanks for your response to my question. I'm writing a new poem every day this month. I've been a bit distracted by health issues, but that's sort of under control now, so I think it's time for a poetic challenge.

I'll try to remember to go out the front to my meditation seat and commune with Nature, then write something appropriate. I have lots of Nature in my little bit of rural South Australia, Nature and farmland.

john malone said...

I look forward to thje result

Carolyn Cordon said...

My poem for today has a little bit to do with Nature, but still has a bit about my health issues, sort of.
And I'm struggling with my first sestina tonight, taking a break now, almost finished first draft of first four stanzas. It's not a task for a weak minded person, I don't think!
I'm going to take a break tonight and keep working on it tomorrow!

Carolyn Cordon said...

In case you're wondering, my sestina having a rest. I'm hoping my subconscious mind is busy working on it and by the time I get back to it the last stanzas will pop out like magic.

Hmm I'm an optimistic person, but I think the sestina really needs an effort to be any good. I'll get back to it soonish...

I promise I will.

The Poet Daniel said...

I don't know if you have read my Sestina yet (Sestina 1: Water Daddy Blood Mommy Fire Ronnie). If you haven't, you can do so at www.poetrypoemspoets.wordpress.com

Carolyn Cordon said...

Thanks for the link PoetDaniel, I've got the cricket on the radio at the moment, but I'll listen to it when I can.

Carolyn Cordon said...

Well, my sestina is written now. I might post it as my poem of the day tomorrow. It's not quite tomorrow yet, but it feels nearly time to go off to sleep.

So, tomorrow, if I post my setina on the month of poetry site, get some responses and am happy with what I've created, I'll post the sestina to this sight, and all can laugh, or marvel at my cleverness, depending on what you think of what I've written.