16 January 2017 Sestina

dscn1751My creative writing students have been working on a sestina which is a fairly difficult form of poetry to write. The premise of it is, “Sestina is a type of a poem that contains six stanzas, each stanza having six lines, while concluding seventh stanza having three lines called as envoi, that is also known as tornada. As sestina derives its name from fixed structure and characteristics, therefore it is as popular as sextain. Unlike other poetic forms, sestina does not rhyme, however, has rhythmic quality on account of the repetition of six end words of the first stanza that recur in the remaining poem. Hence, a sestina follows the rule of an end word pattern.” (LiteraryDevices.net)

I’ve been struggling alongside them:

My Indian horse stands brown and white, his mane

divided to left and right. His muzzle,

soft with warm breath, gives voice to his neigh

along the fence. His ears

perk up at any sound and we gallop

the fields, pounding the ground.


I’ve seen Indian drop to the ground,

his long legs folding until his mane

is buried in the sand. Oreo’s muzzle

swings over the fence; he neighs

his greeting, waiting for Indian’s ears

to rise up from this sand bath. Oreo gallops


away, rejoining the other horses who have galloped

back to the fence, hooves beating on the ground.

Now three horses hug the fence, manes

and tails swish and fall while muzzles,

nostrils wide call out in loud neighs.

rising, Indian trots to his brethren, ears


erect as I open the gate. Oreo’s ears

meet Indian’s and together they gallop

off. Doc and Cowboy cover the ground

between them in a flash, manes

flowing over thick necks, muzzles

stretched before them, the neigh


swallowed by the wind. A silent neigh

floats in the air, but no ears

swivel to hear it. Turning, they gallop

to the far northeast corner, the ground

littered with hoof prints. Manes

calm and lay against necks, while muzzles


meet and exchange breath. And each muzzle

touched in turn, slides through mane,

bringing forth teeth from open muzzles

as two-by-two they groom each other and sometimes neigh

with pleasure, until a sound draws ears

and four heads jerk up. Indian leads the gallop.


Four horses gallop, legs flying, muzzles

leading, with ears erect and neighs

unheard. They stand their ground, settle and rest their manes.




About Sally Gerard

I am a writer, runner, teacher, singer, guitar player, mom, lover, coffee drinker, hunter, antique tractor driver, horsewoman, sister, and lover of the outdoors. Did I mention that I love lighthouses?
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s