For a long time I’ve been meaning to get my head around the sestina. And no wonder: it’s a rather complicated little form where the last words of each line in a 6-line stanza swap around in each of the following six verses and are followed by three final lines. The form was, unsurprisingly, beloved of Dante who particularly enjoyed messing around with the ends of lines; although his terza rima is different from the sestina which traditionally doesn’t rhyme.
But! Much to the horror of Mark who maintains it Just Isn’t Done, I have decided to make one which does rhyme. And why not? If I do it, then it’s done. QED. I don’t believe in rules for poetry; or at least, not in hard-and-fast rules. When I write a sonnet I do the fourteen lines divided into eight and six thing, but I do that because I can see a point to it. But when you can make a form even more effective (or interesting) by the use of rhyme, why not?
So I am wrestling with one now, and the first draft has emerged.
It has been a brilliant day here today: we have spent much time outdoors with Holly, who has very rapidly acquired skin the colour of pickled beetroot. It is great to have her around and one of the side-effects is that our son also hangs out with us when she’s here.
And apart from that I’ve worked on a short story and re-done another chapter of the novel.