ITT we write sestinas

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.

This is more sophisticated than most sestinas about sestinas I have read. I think the advice is good, e.g. S5L1-5, though I’m not sure the best purpose of a large vocabulary is to “overwhelm.” You inspired me to write a miniature sestina in tercets. Tercina?

<b>Christmas Party</b>

I squandered months amassing facts at school,
soothing myself with fantasies of Christmas
and sixties metal blasting loud at parties;

our hosts played nineties ballads at the parties
and served cheap rum the night I finished school.
Bored, I daydreamt about a tranquil Christmas.

I hoped to tinker with my gifts on Christmas,
but I was nudged to visit family parties,
which taxed me more than Tax exams at school.

What loathsome school contrived the Christmas party?
Who parties after school to <i>Nineties Christmas?</i>

I’m getting pressed for time
to write in twisted schemes
while distant bells still chime

Why’d I presume to rhyme
the air still rife with dreams?
I’m getting pressed for time

[i] Remember when I’d climb
among the wooden beams
while distant bells still chime

Our parents getting riled
despite the Christmas Eve
I’m getting pressed for time

Precariously I jive
I hear the ripping seams
while distant bells still chime

I’m rushing past my prime
these creases aren’t dreams
I’m getting pressed for time
while distant bells still chime

Sestinas are long: here’s a villanelle. For some reason the [i] in the poem appears as if it’s lower case, never mind.

edit: Xwing, I think I switched off my brain after reading “sixties metal” (what, just the Black Sabbath s/t?), but on rereading it it’s quite fun. The moral of the story is you have to organise your parties on your own or subcontract the job to your friends.

I actually meant that the emphasis on flexibility was overwhelming; something to this effect:

With [emphasis on (flexibility in vocabulary)] overwhelming

But my phrasing is awkward and I can’t think of a more clever way to put it D:

I lol’d at the awkward family Christmas parties because I’m at one <i>right now!!!</i>

Rigamorale: Arguably, you could include proto-metal.

Now I’m going to show you MY sestina, which sucks. But I wrote it anyway. Almost every line is exactly eight syllables long for some stupid reason. I worked really hard on it, but I know it blows. It’s masturbatory, hand-stapled-to-forehead angsty, and the wording is off. For some reason, that isn’t stopping me from posting it. It started as a meditation on permanence and impermanence and quickly went to woe-is-me bullshit.

By the way, I’m not actually THAT depressed; I’m just writing about how I feel when I am that depressed. But by the end of this thing, I did want to kill myself because of how HORRIBLE it was (j/k, of course). GOD!

I once said, “There is no always,
there is only now,” but tonight
I think of you and see that love
Can seem eternal as nothing.
The blood in my veins pumps my heart
Reminding me we all must die

But if we are all doomed to die
Then I can’t beleive in always
Though it pains me to think your heart
Could stop beating rhythm tonight
And then your soul could be nothing
But I’d still be mourning my love.

It shames me to say that your love
Has already seemed to have died
It should comfort knowing nothing’s
For keeps, then when she says, “Always,”
It could only be for tonight
I should have no ache in my heart

But I am pained within my heart
For knowing that I will not love
Your loud moans and cold laugh tonight.
When I hope, I’m rolling a die
That’s loaded to the side always
Losing the sweetest of nothings

That can’t be all there is. Nothing
Shall stand in the way of my heart
Impermanence shows that always
Is never. So I will have love
Again, though it will also die
I will not be lonely tonight.

Alas, it shall not be tonight
I called my friends and heard nothing
It seems friendship must also die
I want a sword to stop my heart
It would be easy without love
Instead I’ll be lonely always

The blood in my veins pumps my heart
Though now I feel it pumps nothing
Knowing I must love or die

Though it pains me to think your heart
Could stop beating rhythm tonight
And then your soul could be nothing
But I’d still be mourning my love.

Is “mourning my love” total egoism or total lack of egoism? Probably both.

As for the proto-metal, yes, I thought of that, but I was describing my initial reaction. Which may have had something to do with breakfast calling me.

I thought she thought why quick insane like this I and she is in luck together actually meets the topic I have not looked her to me to have favorable impression yesterday to see her and male walks me good bothersome dispirited one day of college entrance examination on more than 5 month of me not to have the tense feeling to think but actually daily today as soon as her I was all game gold tired of the mother to request 400-500 then on to me to assist well greatly also absolutely let me have well work I actually in dispirited I to look in the textbook 5 minutes must remember her me to be very confused I to want with her to say gave up looking saw today installed to her me has not been seeingPasses through when she has not managed my me actually to think that her I want to cry to want to listen to the song well read listens to song that female really not like this to you!!! Do not think her, is not worth, why to hang to death on a tree, she pays no atte,buy dofus otherwise the present might die. refuels, these people are the eye mist!in I also had a mind the words to want saying that was very bothersome, all schoolmates the ash metown, my person this long vacation, kamas buymy mother too has been parsimonious has not let on me e Private school, our privately established and the illimeter difference will be many, enters rivately later to come out is in the society the upper formation, really called “the healthy development” wonderful, but she dies now is not willing to draw cash dofus gold, I had to read very bad public, the good public people were full. Other schoolmate, has well public reads, may return to one’s old home, I? Mother 25 only then has a vacation, dies cannot see her, my anything does not have, the hand is also injured very much seriously, in the family was the loot has died, the piano had one week not to practice, the compunction, certainly was very not at heart ripe. Entire does not have the hope dispirited life. After beginning school, the result is certainly very bad. Not good schoolmate.

Man yj1tm2pl3, that’s deep. I think I’m seeing a celebration of commercialism in all its incoherent ugliness. And the breakdown of stanzaic structure obviously corresponds to that.

Are you published?

I finally found the author, after four years!

It’s better than certain published stuff. GAP, broken link.

edit: retried, still no result. Says something about the security certificate being self-signed. nm

I just clicked on it and it worked fine.

Marvelous! But this is the wrong thread for that