Thursday, June 28, 2007

Sestina----Learning from Life---Poetry Thursday

Sestina---Learning from Life

Why only now you seem to have a query
waking to reality by observing your compeers
Before this you did not care for ostentations
What makes you work out towards avocation
of that particular kind, to show solidarity
for all that, you have always pointed as fiasco

Leading from the front, what will this fiasco
of the situation get you other than a query-
cursory of superficiality, not of solidarity
as you expect. Your so called compeers
can only let you down, your chosen avocation
will never lead to those spiritual ostentations.

Being away from the world of ostentations
for too long, how can you make this fiasco
work by reaching for that specific avocation
which never interested you. Ignoring my query
you close your eyes, seeking blindly compeers
endorsements, forgetting all the solidarity

of your loved ones. Still I extend my solidarity,
standing up for you. Knowing ostentations
will leave you in no time, leaving all fiasco
behind. A new you will shun those compeers
who only pull you down; stopping the queries
of confusion. You will take in a new avocation

which can help achieve personal goals. Avocation
should not matter as much as much as solidarity
towards fulfilment. Never did a solitary query
answer what we really seek. Those ostentations
are only as good for a material world. Compeers
cannot comprehend what truly are life’s fiascos.

However, I must leave you to learn about fiasco
of being in your own way. Experience of avocation
of any kind can get you away from those compeers,
Who are willing you to fall flat. Solidarity
is an alien word for them- leading a ostentatious
life, seldom thinking or having any kind of queries.

would avocation lead the way for ostentations
or solidarity issue forth from so-called compeers
my query sanguinely discards to facilitate fiasco?

This is my first attempt at writing a sestina. As I have been doing admission for class 11 in my school, some girls just try to blindly take up subjects chosen by their peers. It somewhat speaks of that.

I need critiques to improve upon my technique. Please do feel free to offer me your opinions.

Addendum: Do go over to my Reading Room blog to read a review of Deadly Kisses By Brenda Joyce.


Rob Kistner said...

I enjoy reading your writing Gautami, but formal structured poetry is not my thing. I have tried, but I just find no 'fire' in the writing of it for me personally -- so I can offer nothing in the way of useful suggestion.

But your words are beautiful to my ears. ;)

Crafty Green Poet said...

I've never written a sestina so I can't offer you any advice! interesting thoughts in this poem though.

paris parfait said...

I like the message of your poem and your intent to prevent others from making mistakes by following the crowd. But I have to admit I was distracted by the repeated use of the word "compeers," a word I never ever hear used in real life. This and repeated use of the word "ostentations" made the language appear a bit stilted to me.

tinamtl said...

(I needed to have my dictionary beside me to read this...but maybe that is just me.)

I love your poetry and you taught me something new today. Thank you.

Deb said...

I'm new to form too, Gautami, so can't offer much. But I can--and do--applaud your effort. I think giving it a go like this is the best first move.

Perhaps less heightened language word choices would make it (not easier to write, for sure!) but easier to access and assess? (I think I am agreeing with Paris Parfait.)

Good for you for taking this on. I alsways admire your poetic bravery--it leads to the interesting and fun work that I like about your poetry.

ozymandiaz said...

if life has tought me anything it is that life is the leading cause of death...

Anonymous said...

I love the challenge of writing a sestina! You made this extra hard on yourself by choosing words that don't come up naturally very often. I'm impressed you could use "ostentation" 7 times in 39 lines. When I've written sestinas, I've purposely given myself one or two end words that are easy to repeat--with or love, for example. It's also sometimes easier (and more fun) to choose words that have more than one meaning or words that have homonyms or can be used as more than one part of speech.

If you're interested in forms that rely on repetition, you might also like to try writing a pantoum, ghazal or triolet. Those of us who usually write in free verse are sometimes intimidated by formal poetry, but we use these tools in free verse poems too. To me, the repetitive forms like these are more natural than the ones that require me to count syllables or (shudder) scan my lines for meter.

trinitystar said...

I have never heard the word sestina. I did also look it up in the dictionary ...
Great collection of words that you have strung together.
Is it not the meaning that you are trying to put forward to the reader ... than how the words are structured.
I like what you have written ... it does not matter to me if it is a sestina. Get my drift?
Gautami hugs for you

Anonymous said...

First, I think it's great that you took on the sestina! I've only tried once, and was not as successful as you.

I agree with the other commenters--I didn't know what compeer was, and the first dictionary I checked didn't even have it.

Still, I think it's a great first sestina... way to jump in and give it a try!

Anonymous said...

I randomly chose words from the dictionary. I did not give myself any choice. I could have taken up easier words and/or homonyms. We all learn from doing. I too will do so. Harder the exercise set to myself, better is the challenge. It does sound stilted at places. I will try improving upon that.

Next time I write a sestina, I wll take up smaller words.

amy, I have written villaneles and pantoums. Ghazals simly leave me cold.

Thanks to you for your invaluable inputs.

Joyce Ellen Davis said...

Gautami, I think this is the best thing you have written! Good job!

Anonymous said...

I like the words you've choosen because they fit quite nicely with the subject matter. I've written sestinas in many different ways and I find that picking the words first is actually harder than simply writing a six line poem and then expanding that into a sestina. It's also difficult to have six stanzas about the same subject, but you've done a very good job in keeping the flow and storyline moving forward.

grumplestiltskin said...

i can only congratulate you
i can been starting and abandoning my writing of a sestina for about three years :(

Pauline said...

after reading up on the sestina's form and reading some examples, I admire you even more for simply trying! I confess that once I read your note of explanation, I went back and read it a second time with greater understanding. I agree that a lighter subject and less intimidating words might make the first go easier...I'd love to see another attempt!

Tammy Brierly said...

You inspire me to attempt form poetry and this one I have not tried. I too needed to look up meanings of words but that's more of a "Tammy" thing. I did a pantoum but will give this a try.

Right or wrong people follow their own voice and must learn by mistakes. Well done!

Jim Brock said...



I actually like the fact that you decided to go the hard way in starting this sestina, just seeing what the dictionary gives you. These words would be very hard to work with--query is the only word that has a little room to work with.

I second Amy's comments about using simpler words (don't make them all simple, though), or you may want to think about using words that can work as both a noun or verb (garden), adjective or noun (rose), etc., words that allow for greater flexibility in how you might use them. Sometimes it's fun to include a name in the list, too.

Clare said...

Hi Gautami, I love that you took on a challenge. And I really like the message in this and how you explored following what others do vs. being true to yourself, and how the "you" in the poem is holding the space for that person to figure it out in their own time. My niece is starting high school in September, and this is such an important issue. Thank you.

Prego said...

dizzying prose.

not familiar with sestinas. i'll look into them, though and perhaps revisit.

here via michele

Anonymous said...

Really fascinating to read. Though I know next to nothing about sestinas, I found myself carried along by the rhythm of the repeated words.

This is definitely a great exercise to challenge yourself. It seems a very structured form, almost like putting together an intricate jigsaw puzzle.

chicklegirl said...

Bravo for your first sestina--they are so challenging, and I've only ever done one. I love the message of this poem!

Anonymous said...

I can't offer any advice either, but I did like it.

Happy weekend and Michele sent me.

J. Andrew Lockhart said...

I'm sure not an expert, so I have no advise -- by the way, I've almost finished my Shakespearean sonnet. :)

Catherine said...

I think you did very well for your first attempt at a sestina. It looks like you have some good advice already. Jim's advice makes a lot of sense to me. Michele sent me, but I was about to visit some Poetry Thursday participants, anyway

iamnasra said...

I love how your thoughts pour all togather ...

Its been about keeping around...I can not thank you enough for your word of kindness when I was all low

iamnasra said...

On sestina..Im learning from you... so I too cant offer my opinion

Russell CJ Duffy said...

bloody hell! what a tongue twister. glad it isn't me having to read this splendid poem aloud.
clever stuff though!

Don Iannone, D. Div., M.Div., MA said...

Very nicely done. Enjoyed this one very much, Gautami.

Foster Dogs said...

Very intersting blog! Here via Michele's.

polona said...

i can only congratulate you on trying this challenging form.

lisrobbe said...

I also enjoy reading your writing. That was great. I had never heard of a sestina. Definitely looks challenging. Love learning new things. I read your link on it but will also go out there to find more. Maybe one day I will try it. I am so much more of a fiction writer than a poet but I find it fun to try.

Steve said...

Simply amazing!

Giggles said...

Thank you for that little tip about P.T. I tried again but it still doesn't work! Your poem is a profound piece of wisdom! If they only knew how right you are!

Anonymous said...

Well, Gautami, if this was your first ever sestina, I'm looking forward to sestina #2!
I hope the random words (if you're using them) are a little kinder to you this time.