minstrel: Re: challenges

Nicholson, Drew DNicholson at tasc-il.org
Wed Jan 29 08:33:05 PST 1997


Meaning absolutely no offense to my brothers  and sisters who all seem to hail
from off of the Continent, I have a different challenge.

Sestinas.  Sestinas were originated by Troubadours in 12th (or so) century
France.  The form is reputed to be quite difficult and is as follows:

Sestinas are made up of six stanzas with six lines each, and one envoi at the
end, with three lines.  The lines (in the french form) are 12 syllables long,
and follow an iambic pattern.  The english version is Iambic Pentameter.

There are six key words, and the lines end with each key word, in a different
order for each stanza.  The order I use is below:

1,2,3,4,5,6
6,1,5,2,4,3
3,6,4,1,2,5
5,3,2,6,1,4
4,5,1,3,6,2
2,4,6,5,3,1

The envoi, of three lines, should follow the form of the rest of the sestina,
but three words are in each line:

1,6	in the first line,
5,3	in the second and
4,2	in the third

The important part is to remember that the words will not rhyme, so the
poeticness (as it were) comes from the rise and fall of the verse itself.  If
you can't tell, I _really_ enjoy this form :)

Here is my first volley:

LINKED

I thought I would never be to another linked,
that my soul with one more soul could never be joined.
I prayed and railed to the gods and stars up above
until I hoped to quit this lone world asunder,
perhaps a retreat to the faint circles below,
perhaps someplace where I could hold my heart apart.

So long I tried to keep despair's cold walls apart
from my life, but for far too long have I been linked
to the pain.  It wells up, a river from below.
I tried to be with others and too quickly joined,
only to have my hopes once more done asunder,
only to have my dreams drift away and above...

I stopped looking to the faint stars shining above
and sought in my own mind a way to shake apart
this journey and thrust my pain away, asunder,
that now and then I might be to some small joy linked.
I went deep into my mind's eye and there I joined
and there I searched, deep, deep, in the deep dark below.

I heard a dim call down there in my mind's below,
as I roved, it came dimly again from above.
My heart yearned to find the rootstock and it was joined
by great desire to no longer be apart.
I was now with this summons somehow strongly linked;
I would not let mere treasure keep us asunder.

Therefore did I let my searchings go asunder,
left my musings in the murky dark drifts below,
turned to find the hail as if by sturdy rope linked,
bared my head to the sun and wind and sky above;
noticed the world, of which I was newly a part
and, walking down the way directed, I re-joined.

I saw you as if we had forever been joined,
two parts of a whole that had been struck asunder,
our spirits brought together from so far apart.
I never again would spend time buried below,
but be with you always in the fair up above,
never separated, but with our true love linked.

We are with starlight linked, never to be apart.
When we do drift below or perhaps rise above,
let nothing tear asunder what true love hath joined.


Purple
"I didn't spend all those years playing D&D without learning _something_ about
courage."
Anon. Ufoer from X-Files episode
:) happyfrog
"Those who need to sing always find a Song."
Nolo te Bastardes Carborundum
The opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent those of my
employer, TASC, Inc.

Drew Nicholson           Andrew Blackwood MacBaine the Purple
Research                       Tree Girt Sea Rapier Champion
TASC, Inc.                     The MidRealm


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