Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a fixed verse form consisting of six six-line stanzas, usually unrhymed. The end words of the first stanza recur as end words of the second through fifth stanzas, but in a rotating order: each new stanza repeats the final words of the preceding stanza in the sequence 6–1–5–2–4–3. A three-line envoi is sometimes added which includes all six of the repeated words, one to each hemistich.

Developed by the troubadours, the sestina was introduced into Italian poetry by Petrarch. It was then transmitted to other Renaissance literatures but was never widely used. In Russian, the sestina was employed by L. A. Mei (“Again, again it sounds in my doleful soul”), L. N. Trefolev, V. la. Briusov (“Renunciation”), and M. A. Kuzmin (“I don’t believe the setting sun”). The term “sestina” is sometimes applied to any six-line stanza, in which case the form is called sestina grande.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
Stallings bends the sestina's strict rules a little, but only where necessary to convey the theme of Sisyphus's longing for relief from his unrewarded toil.
Although Marine Moore disliked the sestina's tonal incongruities, Bishop used dissonance and oscillation to apply a lesson she learned from Moore's review of Steven's Owl's Clover: "But requiem is not the word when anyone hates lust for power and ignorance of power as the author of this book does.
According to Agamben, the repetition of the rhyming end words in the sestina corresponds to the typological relation between past and present: the mechanism transforms chronological time into messianic time.
Instead of rhyme, the sestina uses a pattern of repetition of the six words which terminate the six lines of the first stanza.
The sestina "Snare" shifts to second-person narrative to portray the available tropes of US motherhood.
I wrote an English free verse and a Filipino sestina. Much has been said about free verse but I want to add that free verse is really the most difficult poetry ever.
Date: Friday 10th - Sunday 12th April 2015 Venue: Ulster Museum Times: Please check the website for full details Sestina presents a Festival of Venetian music and children's events.
Of all the common poetic forms in English, the sestina, with its six repeating end words, is probably the structure with the most potential to effect (and reflect) dynamic change and transformation.
His "Sestina" for voice (sung affectingly by Caroline Shaw) and orchestra (conducted by George Manahan) intoned a six-word poem by Ciara Shuttleworth.
Amitav Ghosh recalled that after befriending Merrill, Agha "began to experiment with strict metrical patterns and verse forms such as the canzone and the sestina" (313-4).
In free verse, an ode reminiscent of a Shakespearean sonnet, and then a sestina with its carefully constructed repetitions, the piece's formal strategies underscore its persistent message, one constantly being drummed into US women like the beat of the piece "Snare," that mothers and mothers alone, not society or other relatives, including fathers, are responsible for keeping US children fed and well bred.
Expect a diverse 15-minute set to include ekphrastic verse; a rondeau redouble; the sonnet, sestina, pantoum, and villanelle; and range topically from paintings, to Queen Elizabeth I, to politics and contemporary issues, many from a liberal perspective.