Thursday, May 9, 2013

A Sestina for Spring

          Isn't it lovely to be Poetry Friday?  A big thank you to Anastasia Suen, our host today at Booktalking!

         Last Friday, Doraine Bennett at Dori Reads shared about the sestina poetry form, so delightful!  Thanks for reminding me about it, Dori!  I have introduced this form to my students in the past and written a few, so was inspired to try again.  Here is my attempt:

Life’s Questions

In the early hours peace
spreads within like rays of sunshine.
Admiring all things yellow,
I lounge at my window
eating bread, butter, eggs—so satisfying.
I am named “Morning Woman”.

Also lurking here—another woman
who flirts occasionally with both peace
and war, and for her, it is satisfying
only when lemony sunshine
streams through her window,
and color emerges brightest yellow.

The lure of gold is brightest yellow
which compares to the smile of a woman
and all feel the world springs open a window
to feelings abounding of peace.
While basking in the sunshine
my own vision emerges as satisfying.

In fact, it is such a satisfying
sight, seeing that gloss of yellow
spread out into the room, the sunshine
is mourned by myself as a woman
who in my heart misses peace
with life.  Yet, I still search at the window.

I try to call out the window;
only see my yearning reflection as a woman
despite the honeyed sunshine
which works to bless a satisfying
life.  And then the yellow,
now brassy, shatters the peace.

I am shocked that this peace
was so fragile, and turn again to the window,
search again for what I believed was calming yellow,
those streaks that paint the woman
whom I felt led a life so satisfying,
on stage and gloried, backlit by sunshine.

Go red instead of yellow, crazy woman!
Quit looking for peace and give up all your satisfying
ways.  Outside that window, other colors make up sunshine.
©Linda Baie, 2013

photo credit: tricky (rick harrison) via photopin


  1. Linda, I enjoyed your sestina so much! Your ending is just right. I think this poem illustrates the point of sestinas -- when you take a set of words and you work with them so many ways, you make discoveries.

    1. Thanks Tabatha. It was so interesting to write, to play with the words once I had the basic ones that I liked.

  2. I'll bet this poem was satisfying to you. I liked the structure and the use of yellow sunshine was effective. But more fulfilling is the meaning. There are other colors that can make up "satisfying" - it will just be a different color now.

    1. I think you "got" it Donna. Much fun to do this, a different experience than others I've written. Thank you!

  3. I enjoyed traveling with your thoughts, uncovering and discovering. Love how you explored the theme of yellow-gold-sunshine-peace-calm. Great ending!

  4. Such a challenge, Linda, and I also enjoyed traveling through the poem with you, through these colors and shades of meaning. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks Robyn-it is a 'trip' isn't it? Hm-m! I'll read with that in mind!

  5. Your poem made me read up on sestinas. Wow, writing one seems like a challenge! Love the journey of your yellows and your woman. And "Go red instead of yellow, crazy woman!" made me smile--terrific ending.

    1. Thanks Buffy! We women have to think, then think again about our lives-it was a challenge and a pleasure to write!

  6. Bravo, Linda! This is a hard form to write - and you created such a lovely portrait of morning and its conflicting impulses.

    1. Thanks Tara-I'm sure there are places to revise, and I will keep at it, but wanted to share too.

  7. "I am shocked that this peace was so fragile." Yes, I've been there! And finding new colors that are still beautiful, even though they are not like the old ones. Lovely! I've written a couple of these and enjoyed doing it very much.

    1. It's quite an almost elusive process, isn't it? Once starting with the words, the emergence of other meanings surprised and pleased me. Thank you, Ruth!

  8. Wow, Linda! This is a challenging form you took on. I enjoyed the different thoughts revealed throughout, but especially the last line, "Other colors make up sunshine." Reveals a truth within a lovely metaphor.

    1. Thank you Margaret. I'm happy you enjoyed it. So interesting to write.

  9. Lovely, Linda. You did a great job on this. Completely satisfying.

    1. Thank you, Doraine. Your post was inspiring!

  10. WOW! If you hadn't told me this was a sestina, I might not have noticed until the very end...and that, to me, is a successful use of form -- it doesn't get in the way of the poem! Three cheers!

    1. Thank you Mary Lee. I appreciate your response! It is fun to try new things.


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