Thursday, 28 February 2008


Recently, I've been trying to play around with a few different forms of poetry in an effort to break free of my tendency to use the same approaches for everything. Today, I had a go at writing a sestina. For those who don't know, that's a poem of six stanzas of six lines each where the last words on the lines repeat but in a changed order. Each stanza takes the 123456 of the last stanza and rearranges it 615243.

All very complicated, and there's a real danger with this sort of thing that the form of it overtakes the content, but it can be a fun challenge. I just wrote the first stanza without thinking about the repeating words too much, so when the word biscuit ended up as one of them, I had to think quite hard. Combine that with working on the PhD, rewrites on the novel, reading and a spot of job hunting and the day turned out quite full.


April Boland said...

God, that does sound complicated! Are you happy with the with the way it's turning out?

Thanks for your kind words about my article :)

stu said...

It's a challenge, but quite a fun one. It takes the idea of tying things together with repetition close to the maximum. But it's like deciding to write a piece of music in an odd time-signature; it forces you to think in new ways. The poem's hardly a world beater, but it worked out reasonably well.