Friday, March 13, 2015

Poetry Friday - A Second Sestina

As part of our year-long poetry writing adventure, the Poetry Seven tackled the sestina during the month of February. It seems that the shortest month gave us the hardest form.

Not completely satisfied with my first sestina, I chose new words from the communal list and went back to work. The words I selected were:
sense/cents, turn, up, wind, break/brake, rays/raise/raze

On my first go-round I had no idea where to start and no topic in mind. For my second try I knew I wanted to write about the coming of spring and wrote a few phrases that included the end words. After writing the first stanza, I filled in my form and got to writing. I posted the poem and waited for feedback. While still noodling and tweaking, I was heartbroken to find my second stanza had only five lines. I'd missed an end word! Fixing that mistake changed the stanza that followed, and the one after that, and then another. It was like dominoes falling. One little change meant big changes elsewhere. I also had trouble wrapping this one up. Ultimately, I wrote two envois, one that followed the rules and the one that broke them, unsure of which was "right."

After many passes at this poem, I'm putting it to rest for a while. I will revisit one day to revise again. Until then, here goes, rule-breaking ending and all.

Waiting on Spring

We brave Arctic winds.
Our senses
stinging seek warmth, turning
east at sun-up,
but poorly angled rays
can’t break

cold’s hold. The canebrake
still hibernates, wound
tight, not raising
until it senses
temperatures climbing up.
We turn

our minds to the return
of spring, when daffodils break
through and push up,
blossoming skyward.  Wind
blows fragrant, tickling senses.
Land, razed

by snow, blossoms. Spirits raise
as eyes turn
skyward, sensing
a break
in the weather. Tailwinds
carry kites up,

above trees, up
towards golden rays.
clocks forward, turn
away from this long slumber, break
free from childhood and into adolescence.

Let green fill your senses.
Our world is waking up!
At daybreak
birds raise
a chorus, beautiful melodies turned
and carried on the wind.

It’s senseless to rail against the cold.  Spring will come, raise
life anew.  Up-beat we turn to March.
Break winter’s hold! Bring on the winds of change.

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2015. All rights reserved.

I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Laura Shovan of Author Amok. Happy poetry Friday friends!


  1. Hi, I'm afraid I don't like the sestina form of poetry, I love rhyming. That said, I like your attempt, rule breaking end and all. I tried to write one, but couldn't even decipher the rules!, so, very well done you.

    1. Hi Maria,
      Thanks for stopping by. I don't like this form much other. I like poems that have meter and structure, and this does not.

      If you want to try writing a sestina, try the Sestina-matic. Once you enter your six words, it puts them in the proper place and generates an outline for you.

      If you want to try a rhyming sestina, this will help you do that. Just be sure to pick two 2 sets of 3 rhyming words.

  2. Wow, Tricia! Short lines can make a sestina even more of a challenge, but you make it look easy. I love the envoi -- bring on the (warm) winds of change.

    1. Thank you, Laura. I tried to write in iambic pentameter, but that seemed really hard. Short lines seemed to make more sense.

  3. I agree with Laura -- I really like your short lines.

  4. Oh, what a nice idea - a sestina generator. Must try that. I like rhythm and rhyme, too, but the occasional break from that is stimulating, I find. I loved your sestina. Nicely done.

  5. All the best poets break rules once in a while! I'm loving this one, Tricia.