10H – 19-20 Feb 2014 – More Sestinas


We finished our discussion of “Rink Keeper’s Sestina” and tried to define what a sestina is. We came up with this:

  • a seven-stanza poem, consisting of six sestets and a tercet
  • the final word of each of the first six lines becomes the final word of all the remaining sestets in a rotating order.
  • the final word of the previous sestet is the final word of the first line of the next sestet
  • the final tercet contains all six words, 1, 2 and 3 at the ends of the lines and 4, 5, and 6 at the middle.
  • the line lengths are all roughly the same, so the sestina forms a rectangle on the page

While a sestina doesn’t have a limited purview in terms of subject, it often has the feeling of an extended meditiation on a particular subject due to the nature of the repeating words.


Today we started a manuscript study of Elizabeth Bishop’s “Sestina.” We’ll continue that tomorrow.

We are, as I said, about a week behind. I am borrowing a week from 3rd trimester to fit everything in, which means that even though your Task 4 is due Feb 26, your Task 5 will not start until March 10. I think having a break might actually be welcome, anyhow! 😉

Your vocabulary test is still scheduled for MONDAY Feb 24.


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