We had fun with the acrostic form, specifically, the abecedarian.
I enjoyed reading your poems. Thanks to all who participated.
Shall we move onto something a bit more challenging? Another form that I enjoyed working with is The Sestina. It is a structured form using detailed repetitions. Mine emerged on a very snowy day. I dropped my car off for repairs and attempted to take a train home, but the train was delayed. Someone stepped in front of it, which happens from time to time in the Chicagoland area. While I didn’t see any evidence of the act, I was deeply upset. Trudging through the snow in an attempt to get home, I stumbled upon a quaint little tea shop. I stopped in for some tea and quiche and wrote my sestina, which was due in my creative writing class that week.
It is called…
A broken car, a train wreck and one tragic soul
Today began my walk in the snow
I landed at Suzette’s Creamery Sweet
Chocolate croissants placed on crescents of lace
Black and white checks topped tables of marble
Dark roast creamy swirls, my lips pressed to china
Cups made from English bone, warmed my soul
Outside the train tracks despite the cold snow
She must have at home, her own yards of lace
Which draped the oak tables where she placed her china
The company she kept, her pastries of sweet
Unchangeable stone swirls carved in marble
A tragedy on the train tracks in the snow
I walked for miles I could walk to China
I soon found this shop with tables of lace
Behind the counter, the woman was sweet
Showed me to my table topped with cold marble
The pastry and coffee felt warm in my soul
The train today brought on the death of a soul
I learned this as I walked through the snow
My travels arrested at the shop full of lace
I dreamt of her place though none so sweet
As dainty the flowers growing wild by the marble
No more will she sip her tea from bone china
I could not imagine as I touched the topped marble
How she must have felt poor, poor soul
The loneliness and pain is not so sweet
As the checkered black and white tables with lace
While the clawed feet of the tables rusted in snow
The dainty of roses graced the saucers of china
I walked along the gravel tracks in the snow
I soon found the shop that served coffee in china
Creamed tarts of cherry, cream cheeses and sweet
Rounded dollops of sugar, whipped cream on lace
Outside the sirens screamed for her soul
Carefully placed her body on stone cold marble
Her soul frozen somewhere in snow
While I rested with sweets, china and cups
The tables adorned with lace and cold marble.
Susan Ward Trestrail
I have some instructions from poets.org.
The sestina follows a strict pattern of the repetition of the initial six end-words of the first stanza through the remaining five six-line stanzas, culminating in a three-line envoi. The lines may be of any length, though in its initial incarnation, the sestina followed a syllabic restriction. The form is as follows, where each numeral indicates the stanza position and the letters represent end-words:
7. (envoi) ECA or ACE (poets.org, para. 3)
This one is challenging, but as we all know, rules can be broken.
Try following the form strictly or using your own adaptation of the Sestina.
Any takers? This one isn’t for the faint of heart.
I can’t wait to see your Sestinas.