alee_grrl: Sculpture made from recycled book pages depicting a tree growing from a book of poetry (poetree)
[personal profile] alee_grrl
So we need to reschedule the Multi-Hosted week on teaching poetry. I apologize that this isn't going to happen this month and that it had to be reschedule, as I know at least two people were prepared to post. I hope that the delay will not upset your willingness to participate. Once a week is selected I will post a sign-up post so people can pick the day that works best for them.

Poll #10269 Rescheduling Multi-Hosted Week on Teaching Poetry
This poll is anonymous.
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 3

Which week in May would fit better with your schedule and make it easier for you to participate in this Multi-Hosted week?

View Answers

May 7 - 13
1 (33.3%)

May 14 - 20
1 (33.3%)

May 21 - 27
1 (33.3%)

May 28 - June 3
2 (66.7%)

May is a terrible awful month and I have no free time during it at all.
1 (33.3%)



Questions, concerns, comments?
jjhunter: Paper sculpture of bulbuous tree made from strips of book pages (poetree admin icon)
[personal profile] jjhunter
I have a poll up over at my personal journal with four basic variations I made in GIMP today. Come take a look and let me know what you think!
alee_grrl: Sculpture made from recycled book pages depicting a tree growing from a book of poetry (poetree)
[personal profile] alee_grrl
[community profile] poetree is going to be hosting a contest soon. The contest will involve writing a poem in response to a particular opening line. We're doing a poll to help us pick an opening line to use, and [personal profile] jjhunter has kindly posted that poll over on her blog.

Please go vote and then check out the contest when it goes up. It's going to be a lot of fun!
bookblather: A picture of Yomiko Readman looking at books with the text "bookgasm." (Default)
[personal profile] bookblather
What in the world is a sestina?

Well, the simple answer is that it's an extremely complicated piece of poetry to write, and I don't know why I torture myself with writing them. The longer and probably more informative answer is that it's a seven-stanza poem, consisting of six stanzas with six lines each, and a final triplet of three lines (called an envoi). That doesn't seem so hard.

Well, actually... every line must end with one of the six words that ended the first six lines of the sestina. In a strict order of rotation.

That's tricky.

The sestina was probably invented as a poetic form sometime in twelfth-century France by, who else, a troubador, likely a gentleman by the name of Arnaut Daniel. It was terribly popular at the time, but fell out of favor after the Renaissance until the nineteenth century, where it saw a resurgance; it was particularly popular in the 1950s. Now, it's mostly used by poets who want to challenge themselves, or feel their subject may be served by a form of extreme order.

A sestina's end-word pattern is as follows, where each number represents one word:
1 2 3 4 5 6
6 1 5 2 4 3
3 6 4 1 2 5
5 3 2 6 1 4
4 5 1 3 6 2
2 4 6 5 3 1
envoi: 2/5 4/3 6/1

In the envoi, the sestina moves to two words a line in order to complete in time. This is really easiest to see when reading an actual sestina, so let's have a look at an example:

Sestina: Altaforte, by Ezra Pound )

Pound's six words are, in order, peace, music, clash, opposing, crimson, and rejoicing. He does deviate from the scheme in the envoi, but he's Ezra Pound and he does what he wants, and at any rate the rest of the sestina is intact. His subject-- war, and specifically the chaos of battle-- contrasts nicely with the sestina's ordered pace.

I write sestinas myself, when the mood strikes me. I can offer a few tips: the first and foremost being to choose your words wisely. Words with more than one meaning (light, book, color) give you more flexibility. Verbs can alter in case: jumping, jump, jumped, jumps. I suggest avoiding proper nouns, particularly for your first sestina, since they complicate matters considerably.

The life of the sestina author is made easier in a few ways. A sestina needn't rhyme, or be in any particular meter, so you don't have that to worry about. Line length is variable, adding some flexibility, although I personally enjoy iambic pentameter. Finally, the sestina really is fun to write. Given time and practice, it only gets easier.

I leave you with a sestina of my own, written about a year and a half ago.

Summertime )

Further explanations and examples may be found here, but please be aware that one of the sestinas at that link contains disturbing subject matter.

--

Works Consulted

Comfort, Heather, Jenny Dobbins, Tracy Slinger. Sestina. http://www.public.asu.edu/~aarios/formsofverse/reports2000/page9.html

Davies, Caroline. Writing a Sestina. http://www.bewilderingstories.com/issue197/sestina.html

Pound, Ezra. Sestina: Altaforte. http://poetry.about.com/od/poemsbytitles/l/blpoundsestinaaltaforte.htm
jjhunter: Paper sculpture of bulbuous tree made from strips of book pages (poetree admin icon)
[personal profile] jjhunter
Repost of previous post due to technical difficulties with the poll; please adjust links accordingly.

----
Please take a quick moment to go through the poll and give feedback re: the comm to date. Your choices are anonymous; aggregate results can be seen by all. If you want to provide more detailed feedback but aren't comfortable doing so when signed in, this post like all POETREE posts allows anonymous comments without a captcha.

N.B. based on how people respond, we might be changing certain aspects of comm navigation, posting schedules, and future comm content. The poll itself may be sprinkled with light-hearted jokes, but ultimately [personal profile] alee_grrl and I take such feedback very seriously - we really do appreciate you taking the time.

Poll is behind cut )
jjhunter: Paper sculpture of bulbuous tree made from strips of book pages (poetree admin icon)
[personal profile] jjhunter
Due to technical difficulties with the poll, this entry has been reposted. Please see the current poll at this entry here.

Poll behind the cut )
jjhunter: Paper sculpture of bulbuous tree made from strips of book pages (poetree admin icon)
[personal profile] jjhunter
Any excuse for a poll is a good one! Please take a quick moment to go through the poll and give feedback re: the comm to date. Your choices are anonymous; aggregate results can be seen by all. If you want to provide more detailed feedback but aren't comfortable doing so when signed in, this post like all [community profile] poetree posts allows anonymous comments without a captcha.

Poll is behind the cut )

And now back to our regular scheduled program with [personal profile] alee_grrl!

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