it had been a good run, but, resigned, he now set his shoulders, ready to take the fall for her; a final stand; sighing, he took his turn and let the chips fall through the window, he watched the leaves fall over the meadow; no place to run; nowhere to turn; nothing for it; his fate had been set in motion long ago at that newspaper stand when she'd told him she was on the take they'd agreed to take it slow, but he'd never expected to fall so hard for her; he didn't stand a chance; he should have run at the very start, when he'd first set eyes on her and life had taken an irreversible turn that misty morning, he'd watched her turn away from him; take a Playboy off the shelf; set her coins down, letting them fall on the counter; and then run her fingers through her golden tresses by the stand "c'mon, c'mon, stand down, guys," he heard himself say, "let me turn my cards over; she didn't run the table - I did! take me - I'm the..." BANG! BANG! she watched him fall, full of holes, onto the Meteorite Poker Set her soft, sultry mouth set, she recalled waiting at that stand for her soon-to-be fall guy, fully intending to turn on him after the big take, rather than live the rest of her life on the run it'd been exhilarating; all that fall, they'd had a great run; but now it was over; the don's men watched her stand coolly and take her winnings; she would be set for life until it came her turn
In the sestina form, instead of using rhyming verse, the poem makes use of repeating words. There are six lines in each stanza, each of which ends with a different word. Those six words are then reused at the end of each line in the subsequent stanzas, but the order of each word changes.
The patterns of word repetition are as follows, with each number representing the final word of a line, and each row of numbers representing a stanza:
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 sestina form has one other element to it: it ends with a three-line stanza called an envoi. The envoi is not as strict as the rest of the sestina when it comes to the requisite word pattern. It is usually ECA or ACE. The other three end words (BDF) must be included within the three lines of the envoi as well.
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When it comes to partnership, some humans can make their lives alone – it’s possible. But creatively, it’s more like painting: you can’t just use the same colours in every painting. It’s just not an option. You can’t take the same photograph every time and live with art forms with no differences.–Ben Harper (b. 1969)
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18 thoughts on “Down the river, or: The fall”
Elaborate and very well crafted, and a terrific description of a character.
💜😻 Dolly 😻💜
The sestina was a bugaboo for me for years – I finally overcame my fear of the sestina (and I lost my stutter when saying the name) . This one is delightful even if the end is not a happy one for the fall guy!
🖤🙏🏻 Muri 🙏🏻🖤 ~ I’m not sure, but you may have been the one who introduced me to this form!
What a beautifully written poem David. You’ve used the same words in a different context every time. 👌🏼👌🏼👌🏼
❤️🙏🏻 Sadje 🙏🏻❤️ ~ thanks
Well done, David. I’ve written one sestina, and it was quite a challenge.
🤎🙏🏻 Jai 🙏🏻🤎 ~ yes, but a fun one!
A story sestina. It works quite well. (K)
💛🙏🏻 Kerfe 🙏🏻💛
Quite extraordinary, my friend!!!
💙🙏🏻 Steven 🙏🏻💙 ~ thanks!
I honestly didn’t know you had a relationship with the golden tresses
Fascinated casino table.
💜🙏🏻 Abi 🙏🏻💜 ~ I don’t have a particular relationship with golden tresses… but the words fit the photo I found!
😂, you have such a vivid imagination Poet.
Speaking like a lover
Indeed the words fell perfectly in place illustriously bringing forth the golden tressels.
And you have done justice to the reason for the season
You are a creative genius David ✍️Enjoyed this piece 👌
💟 🙏🏻 Maggie 🙏🏻 💟