I was distressed to read the following message in the comments for yesterday's prompt this morning:
Doubt I can finish the month...spent the last 24+ hours in ICU after my husband suffered an accident. Had to be airlifted to a city 3 hours away (40 min. by air) Will get back and follow the rest of you once I am able to be home for a while. It has been a great month celebrating poetry.
Emily Blakely |ecblakelyAT NOSPAMmsn dot com
Please send some goodwill Emily's way; as you can probably tell from her comment, her husband's accident sounds very serious.
Maybe Emily's horrible situation will put things into perspective for today's challenge, which may very well be the hardest poem of the entire month for many. Today's prompt is to write a sestina. (If you need a subject, you can write about catastrophe or loss or hope--to mirror the news above.)
So, what is a sestina? For those who have a few minutes to spare, please go to the following link: http://www.writersdigest.com/poeticasides/Sestina6x6339+Thats+Math.aspx. Once there, you can read up about what a sestina is and can be.
For those in a hurry, here's the basics on the sestina:
* It's a poem consisting of 7 stanzas.
* The first 6 stanzas have 6 lines; the final stanza has 3 lines.
* There are only 6 end words to each line throughout the 39-line poem.
* They rotate in the following pattern:
1-End Word 1
2-End Word 2
3-End Word 3
4-End Word 4
5-End Word 5
6-End Word 6
7-End Word 6
8-End Word 1
9-End Word 5
10-End Word 2
11-End Word 4
12-End Word 3
13-End Word 3
14-End Word 6
15-End Word 4
16-End Word 1
17-End Word 2
18-End Word 5
19-End Word 5
20-End Word 3
21-End Word 2
22-End Word 6
23-End Word 1
24-End Word 4
25-End Word 4
26-End Word 5
27-End Word 1
28-End Word 3
29-End Word 6
30-End Word 2
31-End Word 2
32-End Word 4
33-End Word 6
34-End Word 5
35-End Word 3
36-End Word 1
37-End Words 1 and 2
38-End Words 3 and 4
39-End Words 5 and 6
Usually, the best strategy is to pick out 6 words you think you can have fun with and that are probably somewhat flexible in how you can use them (this includes modifying a word here and there--like changing "cold" to "clod" to fit your purposes). Maybe throw in a word that is a little unique--if you really want to challenge yourself. And remember to have fun.
Here's my sestina for the day:
"On the fly"
I am a big fan of eating Lemonheads,
little yellow spheres tasting like a kiss
on a summer day while sitting on a bench
and enjoying the words of some expert
on how to be true and love me tender,
maybe while watching the birds fly
overhead and swatting away a fly
or two. That is, I think Lemonheads
are worth more than they're tendered
in convenience stores. How do you kiss
and put a price on it? I'm no expert,
but I'm also not some dime-store bench
warming philosopher. I can bench
my weight in mistakes and open flies,
because I've always been one to expect
the need for a Plan B. That is, Appleheads
taste even better and led to my first kiss
in a long time--and at a very tender
moment. Maybe I'm just too tender-
minded. Maybe I should sit on the bench
of whatever court decides good kissing
practices. Maybe I should check my fly
before starting any hot talk on Lemonheads.
Maybe I should leave it to the experts.
After all, they are supposedly the experts
for a reason, right? I wonder if they tender
a smooch for the same price as Lemonheads.
I wonder if they set some kissing bench-
mark and expect us all to hit it on the fly,
just something we do without thinking: A kiss
on the cheek counting as much as a kiss
with tongues is blaspheme, whether experts
declare or not. One needs wings to fly
or we'd all slingshot crazy and turn into tinder--
a bright flaming star, a burning bench
where once I enjoyed eating my Lemonheads.
And the Lemonheads will always lead to kisses
on hot benches with or without the experts
to approve the tender moment of wanting to fly.