Saturday, March 28, 2015

Sunday Mini Challenge - not a sestina but close

My own picture.

One of the first challenges I ever tried when blogging was to try a sestina. Somehow I believed that the harder a challenge is the better the poet I would be (which I realize it is not). However I did love how it is constructed from mathematical principles. Where the last words are allowed to rotate in an intricate order.

The sestina is as you all know based on repeating the end words according to a specific pattern, that follow an intricate spiral repetition.

I soon realized that sestina are both hard to read (with a few exceptions) and I still wanted to keep it shorter and yet both more readable and writable. Therefore I wanted to carry it through as a less challenging (shorter) form, where the writer is challenged by the repetitiveness of the last words and still create a new unique sense in each line. I started searching and found the triquina that have been featured here before, and searched for the quartina, and found examples that is basically expanding the triquina's simple cycle of words.

I wanted something different that was a "downscaled sestina", and after some thinking I got this way of using the end words instead:

So as you see it has the same repetition as the sestina where the end words are the same in consecutive stanzas.  The poems will turn out to be 18 line poems which is much more manageable than the 39 lines of a sestina. I have tried different meter, but frankly I think it works much better with free verse, so I challenge you to write something really good her.

For anyone not yet familiar with writing the sestina it use the end-words to create the effect. The choice of end-words is not unimportant. A word with different meaning and same pronunciation makes the creation easier. 

Take for example the word fair that can be a noun, adjective or adverb, to that we can add the the use of compound words like unfair and the homonym fare that can be a noun and a verb. As I have not found this form anywhere else I can only share a mediocre poem of my own:


we’re hunting constantly on overdrive
while we ignore that it’s becoming worse
ignoring truth and hail the one who lied
the one who whispers with a vacant face
the climate change, a truth we cannot face
we prefer the ignorance and be belied
so we can burn the gasoline to drive
while for the polar-bears it now is worse
but though it will for humanity be worse
there’s always reasons for a faster drive
then one day we shall our children face
and tell them that “I knew the truth and lied
my comfort was important when I lied
and when I die it’s you who have to face
the earth’s destroyed by me, for you it’s worse
so join me on this hearse for final drive
down the mountain-face we together drive
when cheering and belied it can’t be worse


Kerry O'Connor said...

I apologize for the post being a tad late. My fault entirely.

As I understand it, Bjorn, the vertical columns of your diagram represent each stanza's end words.

brudberg said...

They do.. Very similar to a Sestina - just a little shorter.. I will link up a new example soon. Spring poem again.

brudberg said...

They do.. Very similar to a Sestina - just a little shorter.. I will link up a new example soon. Spring poem again.

Outlawyer said...

Thanks, Bjorn--I am recovering from the flu--much better but completely beat- so don't know what I can think of, but will consider this for sure.


hedgewitch said...

A busy weekend for me, Bjorn--and this is a very interesting challenge. If I don't get to it this time, will definitely revisit.

brudberg said...

I look forward to that ;-)

brudberg said...

I look forward to that ;-)

Mary said...

Hi Bjorn, I just had to take a try at your challenge! Hope I have the form correct. Smiles!

Grace said...

I think my mind went sestinied, smiles ~ What a challenging form Bjorn ~

Happy weekend everyone ~

Outlawyer said...

I do not think my envoi is correct, Bjorn--ha! Very interesting. k.

Susie Clevenger said...

I am trying, but I can't seem to capture the form. What I have written so far just seems like a series of run on sentences without any sense of poetry.

brudberg said...

To make it work one has to partly bend to the will of the words, there is a certain lack of control, to follow the flow. I like what I have seen so far, but I understand it is a difficult form.

Susie Clevenger said...

Well, I did it. It turned out much better than my first effort. Not sure I exactly captured the form, but I attempted it. :)

Sumana Roy said...

that was quite a challenge Björn...not sure if i did it correctly...

Outlawyer said...

Hi Bjorn-- I was thinking that shortening the sestina oddly makes it harder as it raises the risk of sounding repetitive. I didn't focus on that before but the six lines gives a little space between the repeated words. It is all very interesting though-- I find true sestinas just so long but that may be a benefit. K.

Anonymous said...

Not at all happy with my effort, but not sure what I've done wrong... *sigh* Anyway, I tried! Thanks for the challenge, Björn!

Margaret said...

Just getting over a full theatre week - daughter was Mary Poppins! Today we must get out to the barn and ride our horse. I will put my attention to this on Monday so it will be a bit late. Thanks for the challenge.

Kerry O'Connor said...

I came back to say I have not yet got my thoughts in order for this task, Bjorn, and also to add how much I like your photo - it is very post-Dystopian.

brudberg said...

I have realized the challenge with this form.. I actually spent several hours on mine.. so yes I can see a reason why it has not been invented yet... The photo I processed with some programs on my iPad (same on as I used on my blog)..

Outlawyer said...

It is a very cool photo as is the one on your blog. k.

Jim said...

Well, Bjorn, I liked this one also. You made a good choice. It took more time for me to compose though.
I wrote my end words first, then wrote lines that fit with each other and as a not used meaning or context for each of the four words.
More proofreading might confuse me??

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

I haven't managed to create anything that satisfies me for this prompt, but I thought you might be interested in another variation on the sestina, known as a mini-sestina: