arontius: (Justin's Device)
.....A Poet from the East Kingdom of the SCA posted a learning challenge about two weeks ago now. He wanted to lead a process of development for Sestinas, and asked for volunteers willing to learn a new poetry style. I read up a little on what a Sestina was and thought it sounded interesting.

.....The base definition of a Sestina is thus: A poem of fixed verse consisting of six stanzas of six lines each, which is then followed up by a three-line conclusion, or 'envoi'. The words that end each line of the first stanza are used as line endings in each of the following stanzas, rotated in a set pattern.

.....Sestina lines are not always fixed, but I've already found that I prefer them to be set in Iambic Pentameter (go figure :-)). Although even from the invention of the Sestina in the Twelfth Century this has not always been the case. The overarching control of the Sestina is the rotating pattern of end words, as well as the length of the poem in its entirety.

.....In English, it never held the popularity of poetry styles like the Sonnet. I tend to think because of its length. The English (and I include us Americans in this) have always tended to be on the lazier side in our approach to grammar, so I could see why the Sestina would not be a popular choice in the zenith of English poetry of the Sixteenth through Eighteenth Centuries. :-)

.....So, here is my first stanza. I'm going to groom a little bit from here as after this point I am stuck with the six words. So I need to make sure I can live with them. :-)

With joyous curves branches in glory reach.
They stretch to Spring's warm Sun, new sap runs strong.
The past is written deep on their dark skin.
It speaks of memory that guides them forth.
A map that tells a profound story of years.
As heady liquor beating through their veins burns.

.....My six words would be: A. reach; B. strong; C. skin; D. forth; E. years; F. burns.

.....There are two verbs and one adjective amongst that listing. I'm thinking critically if that will be enough to sustain the completion. So I'm going to ponder on this a little bit before moving on with Stanza 2.

.....Aaron / Arontius.


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