Many poets avoid the - yes - <i>versatile</i> sestina,
For the apparent constraints it would place on form.
And while the rigidity may seem overwhelming,
Think of it merely as a disciplined coach, who would train,
With good intentions in mind but harsh in action,
For no gain comes without some voluntary measure lost.
And while the subject matter may make you lost,
For you know not how to compose a sestina,
Paralyzed between inaction and action,
Ignorant of a path to approach its austere form.
Thus let us hop lightly aboard a thought-train,
Ere the mental pressure becomes overwhelming.
And to prove that the task is not overwhelming,
We shall describe its form, over time nearly lost,
And you shall observe its flow as a segmented train,
Connecting beautifully to give a powerful sestina.
First, pay attention to the mostly sestet form,
Such that the every stanza gives a mostly complete action.
While there may be multiple-sestet actions,
You will find that they are also not overwhelming,
For the last word of every line in each form,
Is preserved in the next, and never lost.
Thus this permutation of ending-words in a sestina,
Is what gives its interdependence, like a train.
So to write a sestina proper, one must train
Such that naturally placing words become actions
Natural to the poet, writing the form of the sestina,
With emphasis on flexibility in vocabulary overwhelming,
Such that interest from the reader shall not be lost,
While we follow a six-one-five-two-three form,
Each number enumerating ending-words of the last form,
Like rearranging the segments of a detachable train,
So that, if artfully craft, the reader’s mind becomes lost
Amid a maze of carefully planned mental actions
With the final effect not being so much overwhelming,
But beautiful, to give fitting tribute to the sestina.
While the sestina can show meta-awareness as an action,
This tercet form claims no such formidable thought-train,
For it is simple, not overwhelming, lest the reader becomes lost.