(redirected from sestinas)
Also found in: Dictionary.



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.


Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
I wrote an English free verse and a Filipino sestina.
CH Over the years, you've written in numerous traditional forms and have given readers some remarkable pantoums and sestinas.
She personalizes the sestina and the villanelle in ways that echo Elizabeth Bishop--form and subject matter coexist seamlessly--but she takes her sestinas to destinations where Bishop never would have dared venture: the antiwar protest, the bedroom, and, most memorably, the strip club.
Or had become scarce, before the present vogue for villanelles, sestinas, ghazals, and other forms imported into (though never fully dissolved into) English poetry.
Fennelly shows off enviable poetic range throughout Unmentionables, writing sestinas, tercets, sprawling free verse, a fourteen-section homage to and revamping of Berryman's Dream Songs, yet she is not brassy, not showy, though it's clear you're reading a new master.
Their styles and concerns are quite different: Gingerich's poems, mainly in free verse, often turn on negotiations with "plain" Swiss Mennonite identity, while Nickel offers sonnets, sestinas and other traditional forms, with the Russian Mennonite experience of trauma and exile as her reference point.
He does this in five chapters, which focus on twentieth-century and contemporary developments of sestinas, ghazals, love sonnets, heroic couplets, and ballads.
To quote the review of the hardcover in KLIATT, March 2003: A new addition to the poetry novel genre, Keesha's House is composed of sonnets and sestinas in both traditional and creative structures.
Yet on first reading, the form is not noticeable; likewise, the forms of O'Siadhail's sonnets, terza rimas, and sestinas are nearly invisible.
She wrote sonnets and sestinas, memorized the thesaurus, and read mythology.
The Book of the Penis (Grove, 1999); and Elephant (Groundwater Press, 1990), a chapbook of sestinas.
After I wrote that poem, I began a whole series of sestinas as responses to favorite books.