Thursday, 18 July 2013

Swift Sestina

Poetry! I've been meaning to try another type for a while. And I finally got down to it. The Sestina "consists of six six-line (sestets) stanzas followed by a three-line envoy. Rather than use a rhyme scheme, the six ending words of the first stanza are repeated as the ending words of the other five stanzas in a set pattern. The envoy uses two of the ending words per line, again in a set pattern" (from Shadow Poetry).

So, sounds fun. I brought up wikiquote and found myself a prompt as I had no clue where to start, so my prompt was "One is either judge or accused. The judge sits, the accused stands. Live on your feet." by Jean Cocteau, and I use it here as the three-line envoy.

It was interesting. I prefer the cinquain immensely...

Still, here is my attempt at a sestina. It sucks rather badly... but on the bright side, I should have some writing coming soon (I'm actually unsure if that IS a bright side or not. Oops.). On with the (circus) show:

Staring down, some forty feet
Across the strand at dusk, one
Quiet man still, pensive he stands.
What went wrong; who's to judge?
Some gall has the accuser of the accused,
To take away chances, and without guilt live.

His strife a struggle they're streaming live
With his shaking hands and frozen feet.
Upstanding citizen, yet still accused
Mob rule yet crying out as one,
Calling for swift action by an unsure Judge.
No evidence, desperation rife, he stands.

Walking, without lustre to the stands,
He wonders over the life he'll live.
Condemnation will most surely judge
A soulless time, as he drags his feet.
He wonders if he wasted the one
last moment after being accused.

Resigned to fate of being the accused,
He envisions dreams of final stands.
Could justice perhaps only need one?
A crying voice deserving to live,
As some wishful hope springs feet
To action and he walks to the Judge.

Mental challenge issued, staring at the Judge,
Realisation dawning that being accused
Just gives you more to land on your feet.
More freedom to protest, he stands
to gain his right to live.
Change begins after all, with one.

He makes his case with passion, one
Eternity later does the awed Judge
Decide, the atmosphere like a live
wire. With bated breath the accused
Waits, as he's cleared and stands
To leave, and live on his own feet.

One is either judge or accused.
The judge sits, the accused stands.
Live on your feet.

So there it is. Hope you enjoyed, though if you didn't, I'm a great fan of constructive criticism. There's a comment box lurking around somewhere, and I'd love you to use it... please?

See you next time,
Zahra.

Related post(s): Cinquains

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