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FormForAll ~ Sestina ~ dVersePoets


This week, Matt Quinn (aka @poemblaze) is manning the bar at the pub, and bringing us the poetry form of Sestina.  Found this one to be surprisingly difficult.  The form consists of 39 lines in total, and each ending word has a particular place to land in the flow of the piece.  It’s really quite an undertaking! For an awesome lesson, visit with Matt over at dVerse.  His article is excellent, and will convince you, almost, that you can do this! I’m putting mine up, though this I think, is one of my weakest attempts to date.  Be gentle! I’m learning!

Piper’s Glenn Salvation

Upon this hill in Piper’s Glenn
I met with my demise
Upon a lake that danced with sin
A mirage of golden lies
And never would I swim again
For I was not baptized
because I hadnever been baptized
I could not dance within the Glenn
Nor could I be born again
Surley this would be my demise
Born of lust and born of lies
The result of ungodly sin.
And out of darkness, out of sin
The longing to be baptized
I fell for the preacher’s lies
Upon the hill of Piper’s Glenn
The setting for my ultimate demise
Where the house of God would fall again.
Should I qualify to be born again
And washed clean of all this sin
Could I reverse untimely demise
And wash clean to be baptized?
In the waters of dear old Piper’s Glenn
Purified of all my lies?
And who is he to tell such lies
To tempt me time and time again
Upon the waters at the Glenn
That were supposed to purge me of this sin
Who knew that when I was baptized
T’would be the beginning of my demise
From heaven angels fall, their demise
From hell, the devil spouts his lies
Are we to believe that being baptized
Will help us to rise and live again
Free from judgement, free from sin
With this preacher from Piper’s Glenn?
The man who stole our trust again
And who fell prey to lust and sin
Upon the lake at Piper’s Glenn?

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21 thoughts on “FormForAll ~ Sestina ~ dVersePoets

  1. ok, trying not to read too much into this one…but…will say when someone in authority…particularly religeous authority oversteps their morals it can be deadly…have seen that happen and its collateral damage is quite extensive…

  2. Great first shot at a really complex form, Tash. Very few have the guts to do a rhymed sestina, and it makes for a lot of repetition. You did very well with the narrative–the story comes through in force, and it's a good choice of subject because you really have something to say. One of the "tricks" to writing a sestina is to write the last three lines first, I found that really helpful in sorting the whole thing out.Also as Matt said, to choose very plain and simple end words that can go in a lot of directions. I think that held you back here.(I had the same thing going on in mine with "hedgerow" not your very subtle kind of word. 😛 ) My sestinas each took weeks-okay, months, really–and I was sweating blood over them and pulling out hair by the fistfuls. I am in awe that you wrote this in one day–can't imagine writing one just off the top like this–you are fearless, girl! Thanks for leading us all into the fray.

  3. i enjoyed this. i'm not a poet, but i can understand that this is a challenging sort of form. but i thought you had a folksy element along with strong images and an engaging story. i read it twice.

  4. Well you had me humming "Son of a Preacher Man" after the first stanza. I'm with Joy – you are fearless. I couldn't get my mind wrapped around a topic, end words, or really anything. I kept thinking about zeros and maybe out of nothing something yet. Seriously though I think you have tapped into your Celtic heritage here. It strums of broadsides which are always dark and deep. The topic is totally suitable to the form and I'm not critiquing form so much today; I think you may want to fiddle with it a little especially your envoy which doesn't have all six words; but it's an awesome start!

  5. I pictured in my mind the rolling hills of Ireland while reading this. I really liked this and your topic chosen fit the form well.I wrote my one and only sestina last month and it made my eyes cross! Whew!

  6. Your sestina, and you floor me too with the jumping right in courage of it, did remind me of a Scottish tune (my maiden name is Graham so I warn you I cry every time someone plays bagpipes). The strength of your voice blazes through a form I feel can obscure it – great first attempt! Word verification: blesses!

  7. You rocked this Tash – you make the form which thru lack of experience i made heavy – you made light and nimble. It whisks along a a ripping pace and i loved every minute – great story – expressed within the confines of the form but without any drudgery – you made the form live and set a great example to a novice.thanks Tashcheers

  8. Wow yes this one looks rather tough to doBut pulled of fine it was by youYes it is a sinWhen someone like that is nothing but the equivalent of a garbage binNothing wrong what so everYour Face it Facts were very clever

  9. I simply like your Sestina making it the Natasha-way! I did my first attempt too and took me almost a day to finish it and when i read yours now i regret a bit for following to much the rule..aww.. hehe.. this is one of the very few i liked immediately at the first read though you didn't stick with the rule you still managed to make it a very interesting and appealing one to read.. i like your word-ends too especially the 'baptized' word which i find to be so hard to maintain a word-end in a past tense… great write!(:Good day!~Kelvin

  10. I think you did a wonderful job with the form (it is like the mother of all forms isn't it? I was exhausted after writing!) Nicely done my friend ~ Rose

  11. I want a Tashtoo on my shoulder. Excellent job. I couldn't come close to this form, as you might read, but I really loved this. Tis a dangerous thing your MC lives, and you make the point and warning well spoken. Great job my fellow poet.

  12. Great write for someone who says she's still learning! This is such a challenging form, and you pulled it off with brilliance. Had to laugh when I read Beachanny's comment–I thought of that song too!

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