Monday, June 11, 2007

The Rhyming Sestina

I think one of the reasons I'm having trouble writing my sestina is that the first sestina I ever read was a rhyming one. Sestinas need not have a meter or rhyme, but some poets have written them using iambic pentameter and/or rhyme. The most important recognized sestina variant is the rhymed sestina, which was devised by Swinburne. Here keywords 1, 3 and 5 rhyme with each other, as do keywords 2, 4 and 6. The permutations are revised so that every stanza has the same rhyming scheme ababab. In terms of the keywords, the revised structure is:

stanza 1: 123456
stanza 2: 614325
stanza 3: 561432
stanza 4: 256143
stanza 5: 321654
stanza 6: 432561
tornada: 14/23/56

The sestina I'm working on right now will be in iambic pentameter (mostly) but I think the rhyming is out. I'm trying to finish it up so I can post it this week.

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