Thursday, 18 February 2010

How to Write a Sestina

I've written one sestina. It's very tricky with the repeating last words and there's a tendency to show off. My sestina is a bit mad. It was a blank verse poem to start with but it ended with 3 really good (IMHO) last lines.

Now a great tip when writing a sestina is to start with the last, 3 line stanza. These lines give you your six words to repeat and take it from there. I had a start because I had a (not very good) blank verse as a starting point too.

Give it a lash.

Here's a good one by Joe Dunthorne at the Oxfam bookshop.


Jessica Maybury said...

I will give it a lash! I'll post mine up on the blog because I'm a sucker for people reading my bad, bad poetry

Peter Goulding said...

One of the few advantages of not having had much of an education, is that you are constantly coming across verse forms that you'd never heard of. Last year I discovered villanelles and terzanelles, and now the sestina! Looks great fun but I daresay its a lot trickier than it looks

Titus said...

Now, I love the sestina! One of my favourite forms.

Emerging Writer said...

Good luck, you're all very brave. Perhaps we can spawn loads of sestinas from this post. What's a collective noun for sestinas? A season? A session? Oh yes, a book.