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Sestina Challenge: A Wish

April 30, 2011

So for Poetry Month my fantastic friend Anita challenged me to a sestina-off, that is, to write a sestina by the end of National Poetry Month. For those who don’t know, a sestina is one most hardcore forms of poetry consisting of six stanzas of six lines (ses means six) that end with the same ending words finishing with an envoy using all those six words. For more guidelines on how to write a sestina check it out here. This is actually my first successful sestina. Mission accomplished! Read Anita’s poem here.

a wish

the language i speak in is hollow and black

words hang loose from the ends of a tree

to form a sentence,  a lettering mosaic

prosaic sensations sparking a fire

across the wordy forest, resistant to steel

ablaze a ways away from the domestic

handsome houses sparkle of domestic

dialect, convoluted context in white and black

newsprint, vowels volley against lamppost steel

consonants swish in sewers, no tree

speaks freely just barred in parks, fire

trapped in a lighter-candle-light-bulb mosaic

pieces of wood and glass will smash in mosaic

prophecy, the words wrapped in the domestic

glossary separating the oxygen from fire

leaving behind a carbon copy, smudging black

prints, scars and bruises and gashes on trees

until we stand in the shade of steel

birds etch symbols on branches of steel

word choices sparkle how a coloured mosaic

reflects like a window to left go a lingo, a tree

trunk’s terminology turns domestic

a translation from beats to beeps, from black

to streetlights, our cellphone glow replaces fire.

the language i speak spits fire

from the tongue, stories tougher than steel

sealing secrets from centuries of darkness and black

our resources broken but pieced together a mosaic

of natural manufactual evidences of the domestic

packaged Mother Nature’s tongue in a box from the skin of a tree.

plant a word like a seed in hopes that a tree

will take root and spread like a fire

bridging the language of the natural and domestic

unifying branches and steel

together, broken horizons trace a mosaic

rainbow that flashes for a moment, then folds into black.

eyes closed, a black blink sings a wish, that a tree

may grow among a mosaic as vibrant as fire

that wood and steel play nice in both nature and in the domestic.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. May 1, 2011 3:37 am

    Huh! I like the concept of a sestina, and I like the sestina you wrote :) I learned something new here. Thank you!

    • May 1, 2011 3:57 am

      thanks, its an interesting challenge repeating the same word and giving it new meaning. if you write poetry, i’d love to read your sestina. thanks for visiting

  2. May 1, 2011 4:08 am

    I do write poetry, though I’m more comfortable writing prose (of a poetic sort). One of these days I’ll give a sestina a try.

  3. anitaabbasi permalink
    May 2, 2011 4:26 am

    Whitney, I’m very proud of your sestina. The words just flow and each line is not punctuated by the word that concludes it. You succeeded in creating a poem, replete with sincerity and integrity.


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