A Sestina for OSI and TT (killing two birds with one stone)

safety

My First Sestina

It’s never easy trying to write a sestina,
Allowing for the metre and the form,
And having to incorporate designated words
Such as prompts, like denouement and clock.*
I’d like to have it all tied up so neatly,
Causing oohs and aahs because I’ve made it rhyme.

Unfortunately, this one isn’t going to rhyme;
It’s my first attempt at a sestina.
I’m afraid it will be done any way but neatly,
Although I try to be a stickler, come to form.
It’s just this time I’m under the clock,
And sadly, I’ve been left bereft of words.

I’m normally a woman of words;
Out of my hat you’ve seen me pull some rhyme.
This week I’m stumped by denouement, clock,
And this strange notion that I must write a sestina.
You see, lately, I’m obsessed with poetic form–
Which usually works out all so neatly.

I’m type “A”; I get on well with “neatly”.
Tritely, I would say, “I just love words”
(Fenton and Fry have got me hooked on form).
I have always had this thing for rhyme,
But Dr. Seuss didn’t teach me about the sestina–
You know, not many ‘nyms go with “clock”.

I have to wonder whose choice it was, clock?
Denouement is never going to work in here, neatly,
Since I have this fixation with the sestina.
Auden and Bishop and even Kipling had the words,
But I’ve only seen Swinburne make it rhyme.
Lately, I’m just such a stickler for form.

Occasionally, I’ll write something without form–
To me, it’s like telling time without a clock.
Lear and Nash and the early poets loved rhyme.
T’would be lovely to tie this all in neatly,
But I’m afraid I’m lost for words.
What did you expect? This is a sestina!

Take it or leave it, this is the form of my sestina–
A few lines and words in order, precise as a clock.
Shame it’s never going to rhyme, neatly.

Kathleen Mortensen©2009

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*Denouement and clock are this week’s prompts for One Single Impression and Theme Thursday (see sidebar for details)

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