My 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.