Poetry Lesson: The Sestina. Personally, I consider this to be the most evil and hateful of all poetic forms, just by its mere strictness. BUT...since my class wrote a good villanelle, I decided to try. Oh...just what the blazes IS a sestina you ask? A sestina is a strict poetic for comprised of six stanzas of iambic pentameter. Each stanza contains 6 lines. As you will see... the last word of every line must be repeated through out the poem, in a shifting manner. (abcdef, bcdefa, cdefab, defabc, efabcd, fabcde) It is an evil form, because by Stanza 3...you really have nothing more to use that word for.

The Seven Sestina (M7 Pilot) By Lissa Grinstead

Seven gallant men; the lone gunman Chris;

The tracker named Vin; the ladies man Buck;

The con-man with a heart of gold, Ezra;

Handsome healer, the knife-throwing Nathan;

Counting crows, the preacher man Josiah;

And following them, the rambunctious JD.

Off of a rooftop came tumbling Buck.

And, leaving nothing to chance, came Ezra.

At a rope's end, twice dangled was Nathan.

Perfoming a penance was Josiah.

Riding, shooting, swimming, flying, JD

Looked up to his hero, the silent Chris.

His conscience torn, deserted did Ezra.

Fighting alongside his Rain was Nathan.

Expecting death, the end faced Josiah.

Leaving was not an option for JD.

Imala climbed the cliff, followed by Chris,

And the others, without a rope climbed Buck.

Next to a rebel, former slave Nathan

Sat, and his leg still bleeding Josiah

Taught lessons of courage to young JD.

Vin leaned on the canon and sat by Chris.

(And nary a woman in sight for Buck.)

And, surprising himself, returned Ezra.

Birds of prophesy lied to Josiah

And Fate watched over the youthful JD

While all of the guns were pointing at Chris--

Insolent comments were coming from Buck--

Hope was all lost, but then appeared Ezra

Who had learned about honor from Nathan.

His barrels both blazing, out came JD

While Vin shot at the colonel next to Chris.

The saber flashed in the sunlight and Buck

Charged in, while up on the cliff was Ezra

saluting. At the end, Rain sent Nathan

Riding home to look after Josiah.