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In order to write a sestina,
you must start by being unsure,
quickly switching from cold to hot
to cold and to hot again,
the temperature being like a cat
in the Sahara desert at dusk.

Sit on your porch at dusk,
watch the clouds create their sestinas.
As you watch, allow your cat
beside you, her tongue lapping unsurely
from a cup. Look up again,
wonder if milk would be hot

if left out. It is hot;
There is a heat about dusk.
Forget. Forget about the poem again,
Look around. Everywhere, there are sestinas.
Not just in the cool, unsure
ripples your cat

makes, the gentle clink clink your cat’s
teeth make as she tips her hot
tongue against her cup. In unsure
clouds, sestinas. Not just in dusk
either. And mosquitoes make stinging sestinas.
Crumple a sheet of paper. Again.

Now throw it out, again and again.
Eventually, sensing a toy, your cat
will chase it. Wonder what a sestina
really is. The pen will feel hot
in your hand. Take some paper. Dusk
is now ending; Be absolutely sure

this time you will write it. Surely,
you will crumple it up again.
Don’t get a flashlight, it’s still dusk;
the lines are blurry. Your cat
will inspect you, her paws hot
against your arm. Write. This sestina

won’t write itself. No sestina does. Surely
by now you know that, how hot the pen feels, how again
you are unsure. And when dusk is over and your cat is bored it will be done.
"How to Write a Sestina" is, you guessed it, a sestina. The story of this poem is that i was obssessed with Sestinas. So I decided I would write one that I liked. I wrote one every day for six days and on the sixth day, this one appears (signifigance of the number 6 is within the form.) I wrote my sestina and now i am content with having wrote a sestina i like.
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Daily Deviation

Given 2008-10-01
I couldn't believe it when I found How to Write a Sestina by ~LadyEponine. It's not everyday you find a sestina that is the perfect blend of (poetic) logic and absolute bizarreness. And no, this isn't a guide on how to write sestinas, or perhaps it is. Either way, it's a delicious bit of metapoetry that describes a writing process that is all too familiar to me. Enjoy! ( Featured by lovetodeviate )
:iconscottman2th:
ScottMan2th Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
brilliant...i've wanted to write one of these for at least a year (if not longer) but could never really grasp how it was done...had the same problem with Pantoum at first but i finally got that one and wrote a few rather good ones and collaborated on several that turned out even better...rest assured i'm sharing this one:D (Big Grin) 
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:iconhidingxisxaxdesire:
HidingxIsxAxDesire Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2014  Student Writer
How do you write the way you do. I mean where. Do you write in journal or what?
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:iconrosescarlet:
RoseScarlet Featured By Owner May 29, 2013  Student Writer
:faint:
Reply
:iconsamshadeslayer:
samshadeslayer Featured By Owner May 29, 2013  Student Writer
This is beautiful. I am so happy I found this :)
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:iconumbra-serpens:
Umbra-Serpens Featured By Owner May 27, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
It's certainly an entertaining read. Though, from my screen, your final paragraph isn't in its 6-line-form. You may wish to edit the document on that.

This sorta made me want to write another sestina of my own.
Reply
:iconartcrusade:
ArtCrusade Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
You should read some recource on how to write a sestina. The final paragraph is called an envoy. It's a tercet that sums the poem up by using the 6 'rhyming words' in but three lines.
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:iconumbra-serpens:
Umbra-Serpens Featured By Owner May 19, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you.
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:iconoviedomedina:
oviedomedina Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2011
Magnificent and brilliant. Reminds me of a poem called "So you have asked me to write a sonnet..." by a poet from here.
The final phrase "And when dusk is over and your cat is bored it will be done." really packs a punch.
Not to say the rest of the poem is of a lesser quality but... agh!
Words fail me.
And here I was, trying to butter you up with a well thought,flamboyant, and grandiose compliment on this poem,
but all I can say is: keep on writing more sestinas.
Hell, anything you want.
Thank you.
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:iconpaint-n-poem-freak:
Paint-n-Poem-Freak Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
Hahahahahahahaha thats awesome! I love it!
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:iconcodexwriter:
CodexWriter Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2009
I love how you use 'unsure(ly)' in the first three stanzas and then 'sure(ly)' in the last three and the envoi. The way it subtly influences the tone is brilliant.
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:iconannikaastra:
AnnikaAstra Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2008  Hobbyist Photographer
Clever and amusing
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:iconvine:
vine Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2008
Delicious, like german chocolate cake.
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:iconpuremind:
PureMind Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2008
This is pretty awesome. Its good to see people actually writing poetry in form for a change.

If you have time, check out a Sestina i wrote as well, except mine doesn't have a Tercet like yours.
[link]

I only have one small criticism for your piece: The meter or line system seems a bit off target. I have something of a similar problem :(
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:iconkelsea:
kelsea Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Awesomee,
It makes me want to actually study poetry :/
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:iconb1gfan:
b1gfan Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2008  Student Writer
As it happens - it is a Sestina I also quite like - and so :+fav: time!
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:iconrookinherrookery:
RookinherRookery Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2008
Sestinas. Oh, my heart!
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:iconlostcarcosa:
LostCarcosa Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2008
I'd never heard of this poem form before, but I love the rhythm. What a clever example. Well done!
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:icontakiyume:
TakiYume Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2008  Professional Writer
awesome! i've never heard of sestina's until just last month in english. i submitted it if you want to view it...it's called Rose.
Reply
:iconvinesdarkly:
Vinesdarkly Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2008  Student Digital Artist
this is great! i like the hot and cold theme, as well as the "blurry lines" and "surely, you will crumple it up again"
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:iconakatsuki150:
akatsuki150 Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2008  Student Traditional Artist
only one word "Brilliant!!" ^^
Reply
:icontaransa:
taransa Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2008  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
That is beautiful work. I am not very well versed in poetry, but I like this piece a lot. Very many congratulations on the DD, it is well deserved!
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:icontheeinme:
theEinME Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2008  Student Photographer
I enjoyed this so much, you did a great work there =D
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:icony0urstalker:
y0urstalker Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2008
well let's just say you've succeeded at least in making a sestina I like.
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:iconaustheke:
austheke Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2008  Hobbyist Writer
Wow. Sestinas are hard stuff. I tried one once and gave up halfway through, so I admire you for even finishing one. I love the imagery in this: "Sit on your porch at dusk,
watch the clouds create their sestinas." Very nicely done. It's pretty hard to pull off a good sestina, so applause to you, and congrats on the DD!
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:icontheperson8982:
thEpErson8982 Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2008
I like this a lot! It makes me think >.> which is hard to do because I'm usually out in space. Thank you :love:
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:iconzachthehurricane:
ZachtheHurricane Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2008
Love the poem and love your name. :D
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:iconsorceressluna:
SorceressLUNA Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I just wrote a sestina 2 months ago :o. I personally prefer villainelles but... this is very well-written. Hooray for the sestinas! :kitty:
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:iconcodexwriter:
CodexWriter Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2008
Now you've got me addicted to sestinas!
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:iconmidori-luna:
Midori-Luna Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2008
Such a lovely sestina, i had yet to read one tilll this. But after doing some research i find this one of my favorites. Keeping true to form but flowing and beautiful if not a little absurd. (A good thing i may add.)
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:iconspanishrubi:
spanishrubi Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2008
Brilliant.

-Mai
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:iconmadreamschaotic:
madreamschaotic Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2008
Is this really a sestina?

Six lines, six stanzas, tercet at the end, but, the last line is not to form with a sestina. The same six words of the last line must be repeated, but in a different order.

This is a nice poem, but not in the sestina form. :\
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:iconmadreamschaotic:
madreamschaotic Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2008
Scratch that. I need more sleep.
Reply
:iconcuppycakes4u:
cuppycakes4u Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2008
this is amazing! i love it
Kudos for you!
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:iconopheliasnightmare:
OpheliasNightmare Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist
Beautiful adherence to form while playing around within that structure. I like it.
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:iconfllnthblnk:
fllnthblnk Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2008  Hobbyist Writer
A very admirable job you did with this difficult, fixed form!
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:iconlepidopterae:
lepidopterae Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2008
Sestina-- my favorite poetic form, probably. Very creative and clever.

Congrats on the well-deserved DD. :)
Reply
:iconlostgambit:
LostGambit Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2008  Hobbyist Photographer
This had to be insanely difficult, sestinas seem to be such a pain. I've never had the courage to sit down and attempt to write one. Maybe now...
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:iconriversprite:
Riversprite Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2008
This is just fantastic.
An admirable and fitting sixth attempt.
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:iconthebitchinwitch:
thebitchinwitch Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2008   Photographer
Sestinas make my head hurt to write.

But I loved reading this one!
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:iconbeccajs:
BeccaJS Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2008   Writer
This is fantastic! I tried to write a sestina once, but never again! Wonderfully crafted and a well-deserved Daily Deviation, well done!
Reply
:iconbeccajs:
BeccaJS Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2008   Writer
Also, you're a true writer. There are always cats involved.
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:iconmalicedomestic:
malicedomestic Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2007
I love this. I enjoy writing sestinas quite a lot, but I've never written an unrhymed one. Hmm, I think I'll do that now.
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:iconjamiedemo:
jamiedemo Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2007   General Artist
I'm obsessed with sestinas too!
Reply
:iconmystakaphoros:
Mystakaphoros Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2007  Hobbyist Writer
It's like... a... META-SESTINA! Which sounds sort of like a kind of cancer.

It's growing on me!
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:icontyrsia:
tyrsia Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2004
Ah, now that is a beautiful sestina. I love it! Makes me want to try to write one again.
Reply
:iconyuta:
Yuta Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2004  Student
I like the word "sestina"... i ddint knwo what it was, but Im gwessing its a six-verse poeam... I like your cat.
Reply
:iconladyeponine:
LadyEponine Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2004   Writer
it's a certain form of poetry. really complicated, i don't feel like explaining it. It is a cool word tho, isn't it?

Ah, but too bad Ether is an imaginary cat.
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