Happy Poetry Friday!
This month, we Poetry Princesses tackled sestinas. Huh.
Here’s what I wrote in the Google Doc where we shared our drafts. As you can see, I did not feel all lightness and happiness about this month’s project!
I hate long poems. I generally don’t like narrative poems. My sestina is destined to be both. And crappy. :>( Oh–also, I decided to do mine unmetered. Since I find sestinas way too long for my personal taste, I wanted to keep my lines as short as possible. And, since y?all were unhappy with ?cart,? I wanted to use it. And then I stupidly decided to be a smart alec and use my ?horse,? too. So, what resulted? An obvious poem about a horse trying to escape its cart. Ah, well. There are a few lines and images I do like, so I’ll try to focus on that! [Note: We each contributed two possible end words, and then we each chose the six we wanted to use in our individual poems.]
And I can’t even remember this month’s theme. Seriously. Shoot. That’s how foggy my brain is right now. I’m kind of sick, preparing for a million things in March/April, and am basically just overwhelmed–all with positive stuff, though, so that’s a good thing!
I did make a few changes based on great feedback from the group, though I’m still not very happy with it. But part of our bravery is going to be sharing poems we’re not super proud of. I share early drafts and quickie poetry exercises here all the time, and that doesn’t intimidate me much. But sharing a poem I tried pretty hard on, that I’m still not happy with–THAT’S pretty scary.
Without further excuses, here’s my sestina:
at dawn cart-
wheeling forward, a weary wave
riding his broad back, a wave,
a wish, to raze
the barn, escape the cart–
free of duty’s yoke. Where is the up
side to being horse?
Oh, to be a seahorse
freewheeling in seaweed waves.
Rooster flaps flightless wings up
up up, but he will never raise
sky. Bristle-backed bulk is his brake.
“Learn to love cart.”
Waxy yellow beak: “Embrace cart.”
Icepick claws: “Makes you horse.”
Dusty pecked lies. “Can’t break
free. Must not waive
commitment. Buck up!”
Dreamy cow flutters fringed eyes. “Make up
your days as you go. Take joys a la carte.”
She grazes, nosing clover as sun’s rays
warm her velvet voice. “Horse-
play is good play.” Shares butterfly thoughts. “Waves
shape rock, though rock doesn’t break.”
“Philosophy,” snorts Horse. “Give me a break!”
Broken-hearted tractor sizes up
the fence, crashes through, stale flanks a wave
of muscled motion, the splintered cart
a hot memory in sod. Sweaty, trembling horse
dances in sun-salty rays.
Grey wave of heartbreak
recedes. Hay and joy in raised snout. New planet up-
rising: “The cart can not define this horse.”
–Laura Purdie Salas, all rights reserved
Here I am reading this sestina:
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And here are links to the Poetry Seven’s sestinas (Sara will be back next month!). I only got to see a few of them in advance, so I will be surprised as I go visit them today! (I’m adding a favorite phrase/line from each in parentheses).)
Liz Garton Scanlon (“my windbreak / against the possibility of lion eating lamb”)
Tanita S. Davis (“Plunge headlong towards dark currents, like a tern”)
Kelly Fineman (“Put through my paces like a horse / on show, made to reject my inner lion,”)
Andromeda Jazmon (“Drifting downstream, you never think of up. /How it’s a long fight back.”)
Tricia Stohr-Hunt (“I’ll toss this poem to the wind / hoping it will return”)
Our form to work on in April will be the raccontino! Racco-what-oh? You can learn more from Tricia here. Here’s our tentative 2015 schedule, in fact:
Villanelle = Jan
Triolet = Feb
Sestina = March
Raccontino = April
Pantoum = May
Ode = June
In the Style Of = July
Haiku = August
Found = September
Etheree = October
Epistle = November
CROWN SONNET = December
And don’t forget to visit Robyn Campbell for the Poetry Roundup today. Enjoy!
P.S. If you’re interested in our previous collaborations:
Feb 2015: Villanelles on hidden things