History[ edit ] Arnaut Daniel The oldest-known sestina is "Lo ferm voler qu'el cor m'intra", written around by Arnaut Daniela troubadour of Aquitanian origin; he refers to it as "cledisat", meaning, more or less, "interlock".
Sestina Definition of Sestina A sestina is a fixed form in poetry that has six stanzas of six lines each followed by a three-line stanza ; each line ends with one of six words in a standard repetition.
These six words are chosen by the poet, but must be repeated in a certain order for the poem to qualify as a sestina. The pattern is thus: Note that in the final three-line stanza, known as the envoy or tornada, there is a repetition of the six words so that two appear in each of the three lines, one in the middle and one at the end.
Though this pattern sounds complicated, it is easy to understand in action. See the examples below to analyze the repetition pattern. Italian poets such as Dante and Petrarch were interested in the form, and wrote their own works with the same repetition pattern in the thirteenth century.
The form became known as a sestina after their popularization of the pattern. Common Examples of Sestina The sestina is a very highly regulated poetic form, and thus it does not exist outside of poetry. Unlike some other forms that are used in popular culture, such as the limerick and haikusestinas only achieve their significance when presented as a whole.
Dante and Petrarch also wrote lines of eleven syllables hendecasyllablewhich was the primary meter in Italian poetry at that time. Since that time, poets have done away with any standardization of meter within the sestina. Instead, the main effect of an example of sestina comes from the repetition of those six words.
The repetition is both easily understood when viewed, while also sounding a bit labyrinthine. Similar to the repetition in a villanelle, the repeated words in a sestina can sound like a complaint or an obsession.
Examples of Sestina in Literature We have included three full sestina examples so that you can see and understand the pattern of repetition.
Example 1 Hearing of harvests rotting in the valleys, Seeing at end of street the barren mountains, Round corners coming suddenly on water, Knowing them shipwrecked who were launched for islands, We honour founders of these starving cities Whose honour is the image of our sorrow, Which cannot see its likeness in their sorrow That brought them desperate to the brink of valleys; Dreaming of evening walks through learned cities They reined their violent horses on the mountains, Those fields like ships to castaways on islands, Visions of green to them who craved for water.
They built by rivers and at night the water Running past windows comforted their sorrow; Each in his little bed conceived of islands Where every day was dancing in the valleys And all the green trees blossomed on the mountains Where love was innocent, being far from cities.
It is our sorrow. Ah, water Would gush, flush, green these mountains and these valleys, And we rebuild our cities, not dream of islands.
Auden has chosen six words that are relatively similar: Each of these words is a noun, and only one is an abstract noun. The others all refer to geographical features. Auden had made the repetition a bit easier on himself by choosing only nouns, and ones that are easily connected.
Example 2 The first of the undecoded messages read:leslutinsduphoenix.com - The Academy of American Poets is the largest membership-based nonprofit organization fostering an appreciation for contemporary poetry and supporting American poets.
(“Sestina” by Elizabeth Bishop) Twentieth-century poet Elizabeth Bishop wrote a few sestina examples, such as the above poem and her poem “A Miracle for Breakfast.” Bishop was very interested in exploring the different effects a sestina could give her.
A sestina (Old Occitan: cledisat; also known as sestine, sextine, sextain) is a fixed verse form consisting of six stanzas of six lines each, normally followed by a three-line leslutinsduphoenix.com words that end each line of the first stanza are used as line endings in each of the following stanzas, rotated in a set pattern.
The invention of the form is usually attributed to Arnaut Daniel, a troubadour. Marvin Klotz (PhD, New York University) is a professor of English emeritus at California State University, Northridge, where he taught for thirty-three years and won Northridge's distinguished teaching award in He is also the winner of two Fulbright professorships (in Vietnam and Iran) and was a National Endowment for the Arts Summer Fellow leslutinsduphoenix.com: $ Etymology of name.
The oldest mention of the word "troubadour" as trobadors is found in a 12th-century Occitan text by Cercamon.. The English word troubadour is an exact rendition from a French word first recorded in in an historical context to mean "langue d'oc poet at the court in the 12th and 13th century" (Jean de Nostredame, Vies des anciens Poètes provençaux, p.
14 in Gdf. The poems by Elizabeth Bishop on our course reveal many of the most striking characteristics of her work: her eye for detail, her interest in travel and different places, her apparently conversational tone, her command of internal rhyme, her use of repetition, her interest in strict poetic forms (the sonnet and the sestina), childhood memories.