Connotations, or: Perhaps…

My 1st full sestina

I've been writing poetry for nearly a year; 
Poetic forms beguile and, oh, so fascinate me; 
After all, they shape our intended connotations 
no less than our very words do, and they're so 
much fun to play around with. Perhaps 
I should try my hand at a sestina. 

I've heard tell that one famed sestina
took its tormented composer more than an entire year
to craft so now I'm wondering if, perhaps,
such a project would simply be too much for me;
I mean, let's be honest, shall we? I'm not so
adroit as to evoke especially suggestive connotations.

Still, I could avoid attempting any especially nuanced connotations
entirely if I were to write a true sestina
for the very first; and my readers are all so
kind that they would surely forgive my first-year
clumsiness and continue to shower me
with loving support regardless... well... perhaps...

Really, now that I consider it, perhaps
I shouldn't be so worried about artful connotations
in the first place. They don't really become me,
nor my very direct poetic style; and any sestina
of mine would thus be likely forgotten within a year;
so why worry myself so?

Maybe my first sestina will receive bad reviews. So
what? If the final result is indeed ungainly, perhaps
I could attempt to produce one that's more elegant next year;
I could continue honing those subtle connotations;
I could become a virtuoso of the sestina!
Perhaps, some day, burgeoning poets would speak of me...

No! It shouldn't matter what others think of me;
Exploring poetic forms is something I do for myself, so
if I don't derive pleasure from constructing a sestina,
if the process is unfulfilling, if the words grate on me, perhaps
I should abandon pretentious wordplay; failed connotations;
unflattering attempts at cleverness... at least for another year.

I've never formally studied creative writing, perhaps,
but I have long and deeply pondered the manifold connotations
of the word 'poetry' this year.

29 thoughts on “Connotations, or: Perhaps…”

  1. Bravo!! Sestinas are so difficult – I forget which poet said that any completed sestina is a masterpiece (or something to that effect).

    1. This one was composed off the cuff – I really want to compose one that’s more thought through in advance… hopefully some time soon, Ren.

      Thank you so much for the kind words 🙂


  2. An excellent effort! My first sestina caused me to stutter every time I thought the word (ssssesssstina). In my mind it was a venomous snake that struck at my heart and soul. I’ve mostly lost the stutter but the sestina can still be dangerous! Glad you survived!

  3. This made me wonder if I had ever attempted a sestina. I found only one, described at the time as a WIP. It works well for a ramble through the mind I think. We’re always circling around in there. (K)

  4. Dear David,

    Your sestina is very well done and quite cogent. There is also a fairly good sense of humour and rigour about the subject matter.

    I would definitely recommend that the first line of your second stanza be fixed, for the use of consecutive verbs such as “heard tell” in “I’ve heard tell that one famed sestina” is considered to be very poor form, grammatically and stylistically speaking.

    Once again, I can see and sense that you have derived plenty of satisfaction in constructing this fine sestina, which necessitates a different kind of skill from that required for composing a sonnet or a rhyming poem.

    I have stayed up till very late to complete some new graphics and animations plus more pertinent information for my special Easter post entitled “Easter in Modern Multimedia Perspective”, which you can easily find at the Home Page of my blog, as it is currently the Featured Post.

    You are very welcome to peruse the extended and updated post at your earliest convenience. Given your background and expertise, I would be delighted if you could kindly submit your comment to my said post, as I am very keen and curious to know what you think or make of it.

    Yours sincerely,

    1. Hello, Sir 🙂

      Thanks for the close reading and advice! I totally hear what you’re saying about that phrasing – and it’s not even how I would normally speak, TBH. But I think for the purposes of this poem, it works – I’ve been reading a lot of Shel Silverstein’s poetry to my six-year-old recently, and he uses wrong grammar all over the place – it’s stylistic.

      As for your Easter post, I’ll come over and check it out!

      All best,

  5. I must study the sestina to give you fullmarks. I don’t know what defines a sestina, besides right now im listening to the music and sounds of Easter.
    Your prose and your poetry are insightful
    deliberate and full of pure wonderful

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