of your grief, after four years away, to find steeper
My first ever poem using the elaborate sestina form, and as much about the land (its north and south) as it is about the man who straddled both places - so appropriate, I think, for the NZ theme on Tuesday Poem today.
As another poet Tim Upperton said to me just the other day, the sestina is a 'weird' form and he's not sure he'll write another one in his life. Me neither. But it has been interesting seeing what it forces language to do and where it makes a poem go. More on the history and use of the sestina here , the double sestina that inspired me here, and how the form works in my poem below.
Sestina scheme for Southern Man: a-bleached b-keep, c-mouth, d- steep, e-south, f-speak[and variations of those words, note they do not need to rhyme but mine do... ]
a b c d e f (first stanza) f a e b d c (second stanza) c f d a b e (third stanza) e c b f a d (fourth stanza) d e a c f b (fifth stanza) b d f e c a (sixth stanza) a d (1st line of the 7th stanza, "a" must be in the line, but the line must end with "d") b e (2nd line of the 7th stanza, "b" must be in the line, but the line must end with "e") c f (3rd line of the 7th stanza, "c" must be in the line, but the line must end with "f").
For more poems on National Poetry Day and links to poetry events all over the country, click on the quill.