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Re: Sestina Workshop

Posted: Sat Nov 27, 2010 9:23 am
by brianedwards
Mic wrote:Here's a Harvard university paper on the subject of sestinas titled "Sestina! or The Fate of the Idea".
It's quite long.

http://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handl ... sequence=2

Mic
That's the one I posted above.

Ian, I'll not try to persuade you but I will get back to you with some more thoughts on the form.

Ben, a tritina! Nice!

Pushed for time now, more later.

B.

Re: Sestina Workshop

Posted: Sat Nov 27, 2010 9:29 am
by Mic
Oops. Sorry Brian. I am a bad pupil. Not paying attention. Have been out of the loop for a couple of weeks but hope to be more involved over next few days.

Ben - I liked your Exercise 1 poem.

There's a BH Fairchild sestina I like called There's constant movement in my head (which I read in Ted Kooser's excellent book the Poetry Home Repair Manual). Am trawliing the internet for the words.

Apologies if someone has already posted this:

The Confessions of a Sestina Editor:

http://www.pw.org/content/confessions_s ... cmnt_all=1

Mic

Re: Sestina Workshop

Posted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 11:57 am
by Sharra
Here's my response to exercise 1:

Beached
The curl of the wave crashes
onto the beach, drags
me below the surface, the weight
of water forcing me down.
I curl myself around, unable
to wave for help, collide
with the seabed. Thrust
legs downward, taste salt.
And surface, gasping.

This was surprisingly hard to think of the words for!
Nicky
x

Re: Sestina Workshop

Posted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 4:35 am
by brianedwards
Nicky, I like how you have worked with your usual muse! I had to read it a few times before I noticed the repeated words --- that's a good thing right?

B.

Re: Sestina Workshop

Posted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 5:06 am
by brianedwards
Ian,

I've been pushed for time and unable to give your comments the attention they deserve, but I have a couple of things to say.

I don't think there is (or can ever be) an all-encompassing reason for using the sestina form or for repeating end words in the manner the form requires. OK, I don't like the workshop metaphor much, but it's popular and recognisable so I'll use it. I think of poetic forms as another tool in the poet's toolkit, tools that may some day come in handy, or may sit up on the shelf untouched. Or it may be that I take one down sometimes, check the moving parts are well-oiled, maybe make something interesting with it, maybe not, but take comfort from the fact of knowing it's there.

Many examples of sestinas have been posted on this thread, and in each of them the author probably had (in their mind at least!) reasons for using the form as a means of bringing that poem into being. I've written several, most of which have started out as something else but somehow asked to be written that way. Sometimes the motives are conscious, other times it is only after looking back at the poem (often after a period of time has passed) that I might understand why the poem needed to be that way. And of course there are those that never reveal themselves . . .

I should probably stick my neck out here and show a couple of my own, which some of you may remember.
This one was written with my mother in mind and didn't start out as a sestina.

The Shrine

Some people who read the poem commented that the form complemented the woman's repeated actions and slow struggle through the days that her son was at war. I hadn't intended that, but I like the idea!

Here's another. Again, it didn't start out as formal, but I did quickly get an idea of what I wanted to do.

Poem for Noam

Several authors have used the form to evoke a feeling of obsessive or neurotic behaviour (Bob's Sestina is a prime example!) and I wanted to tap into that idea with this poem.

On a general note regarding workshops, my basic approach is this: Fuck it, why not! I write every day, have probably written over 5000 poems, less than 5% of which are probably any good; and only about a third of those I would consider submitting for publication. Most of what I do is just playing around, exercising the muscles and making sure I'm ready for the muse when he/she turns up. You might think that's crap. Fair enough. I've attended dozens of workshops and lectures where I have decided within minutes I disliked or disagreed with the speaker/tutor. But my attitude always stays the same: Fuck it, why not!


EDIT: Err, OK, I just realised I misunderstood your question Ian and you weren't asking WHY people write sestinas but WHY they rate them . . . oops! Well, I hope my rambling kind of answers your question from my viewpoint anyway . . .

B.

Re: Sestina Workshop

Posted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 10:35 am
by bodkin
brianedwards wrote:EDIT: Err, OK, I just realised I misunderstood your question Ian and you weren't asking WHY people write sestinas but WHY they rate them . . . oops! Well, I hope my rambling kind of answers your question from my viewpoint anyway . . .
No problem, they are kind-of the same question. e.g. I won't be able to write them unless I rate them.

(I guess the inverse doesn't apply, I could rate them without being able to write them...)

We've been snowed in all week plus I have a terrible cold, so I haven't been able to give this the attention it deserves. So I will read through your very generous explanation and see where it takes me. But it may not be today. Sometime at the weekend would seem the best bet (OTOH we have to dig the car out and go find food, which will obviously take more time that usual...)

But thanks for your efforts on my behalf, I will do them justice, I just cannot promise exactly when.

Ian

Re: Sestina Workshop

Posted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 4:43 pm
by delph_ambi
Just popping in to say I LOVE sestinas and write them more often myself than is probably wise (they take considerably longer to do than other forms). I don't have time to join in the workshop, but will take a look now and again to pick up bits of advice and suchlike.

Re: Sestina Workshop

Posted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:36 am
by clarabow
Placid Lac Leman - Sestina for Byron (he loved his half-sister and it caused a scandal - he fled to Geneva)


I will set upon the lake this quiet sail of fever.
Its searing heat will raise the lows for when
the barometer falls, Her thermostat set
to cold. Cold as these lips on a sunken bell,
as stiff as a sail when the surf is gone.
My craft suffers a baptism of fire for love.

A vessel is full of faults that lust for love.
Locked in the hold the host of my fever.
A stormy survival of our where and when;
its sail of molten sin carries a prayer set
fair in the eye of a black ringing bell,
she was my better half and now she’s gone.

Can sated love put out to sea and be gone?
Our song left dry and soon rapt by fever.
Mr Sandman come, fill the deafening bell,
close these portholes with shrills of when
the lips of a bard could not find his love.
For fear cannot speak her name nor set

a chain on a verse linked to the satanic set
and plunder the lake to drink a love
and sink a windswept core, the ore gone;
gone forever. I will sail a boat of fever
though the watchman rings his warning bell
and fishermen tell of a wreck, and when

the ruins sink in the sand was it when
the tide turned and bared bones of fever?
They’ll name the boat and call it ‘my love’
they’ll say her name and nod she’s gone.
All agree it is a grace and a mercy to set
on a sea the cast off call of a ship’s bell.

Take the tone poem from this tolling bell,
save from monogamy my moan and set
to every song the unspoken word of love.
The boat we owned flayed, its mast gone
our limp colours flapping free and when
afloat on a placid sea, hold fast to fever.

(The quiet sail set out on the lake of fever,
ring a rescue bell for Lord knows when
we’ll find them; the boat ‘my love’ is gone)




I wrote this a long time ago and then wasn't sure if it met the criteria of a sentina, and as the rules are so complicated I gave up.

Re: Sestina Workshop

Posted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 10:07 am
by gavin
the hands around my throat
were the wine glass in a spinnaker, fast
i had my hand around his balls until he died.

they call it male bonding,
where are in the middle of no where
our private Jerusalem, log fire, under the stars, on the dad manners.

like a batch tumbler rolling around in bull dust,
his arms were a mining cone crusher,
my grip is a mining gearbox, power take off.

how all this came about you ask?
well he got a tooth ache right in the middle of paradise,
went to the medical kit, got the horse syringe.

then filled it three and a half times with bad manners,
in fear of excommunication i injected into the affected tooth each time,
modesty has me saying, “it got rid of the pain”

all hell broke loose, the evil in man, has a sober compulsion,
giving him licence too, kill me.
i radioed in and told them the details!

i had given him three hundred and fifty mils of bad manners i thought,
but no! it was odourless turpentine for the lamp, straight into the blood stream,
they were sending a helicopter to save him from me.

any way everything turned out alright,
his misses stayed with me massaging my throat back to health.
she has true humane virtue.

Re: Sestina Workshop

Posted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 10:15 am
by gavin
clara bow------ that is a beautiful poem

Re: Sestina Workshop

Posted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 10:39 pm
by Pauline
:lol:
Both amusing and disturbing Gavin,
but not a sestina.
Noticed your crit was (spookily) deleted.
Ooh err.
Mind you, you have kept certain others busy with your crit on another post.
One even produced a poem from this.
So well done you.
You are getting noticed but for all the wrong reasons.
I don't know what's going on!
There's a lot of confusion on this site.
Considering they know your struggle with dyslexia,
I don't get a feel for support or encouragement for you.
I know you can be blunt and sometimes (if you don't mind me saying ) sarcastic with your crits,
depending on the volume of bad manners you have consumed,
but you are always honest with your feedback.
Hang in there Gavin,
I for one think you have a lot to offer.
A colourful character with a mind blowing imagination.

Re: Sestina Workshop

Posted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 1:36 pm
by ray miller
Pauline. I'm assuming the poem you refer to is Scorpion. I wrote it partly in response to the comments below which are Gavin's and other comments of the same ilk, some of which Gavin chooses to delete.There's nothing spooky about it.


when it come to to crit somebody's work im a bit of a bush pilot flying through pot holes and air borne culverts

when i do crit work i do mean what i say if people think that person is in a fragile state where he or she will jump from a 10 story of bad manners
so be it, they are better dead,

the rush to modernise can baffle the person left behind, as could happen to ray miller;

i do not see why i get shut down when i crit;

by taking me off ray did not see who face was on the hand grenade or who through it;

i believe you cannot watch a great poet such as ray slowly drown under a sunny Mediterranean sky;

if that light dose not shine on him at the present moment, you bitch slap them to bring them back in to the light of reality,

a man is a man on matter how tortuous it can get;

you people observe my susage making to closely;


I've no great problem with this but I do demand a right to reply as I see fit. I think Gavin would agree. I like Gavin, he's a weird monkey and he makes me laugh. But I think your concern for him is misplaced and unnecessary. If Gavin can blithely ignore the consequences of his comments, can bitch-slap others back into reality,whether or not they've asked for that kind of "help" then Gavin can presumably deal with his own shit.

Re: Sestina Workshop

Posted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 5:20 pm
by Ros
Could I also add that the mods do reserve the right to remove posts if they think they are too abusive or inappropriate, and unlikely to help the author. We don't do this lightly but are unwilling to ignore it when incoherence is swamping sensible comment. We are, after all, only a poetry forum and whilst we are sympathetic to the real-life issues people are dealing with, we're not up to handling them in more than a superficial manner. Anyone genuinely wanting to learn about poetry and willing to learn, whatever level they are at, is welcomed with open arms. Anyone with any other agenda would find greater help elsewhere.

This is a general comment and not a hint that anyone should leave. I still think, overall, we're the best forum out there and that generally people rub along fine. Complete agreement would be very dull, of course.

Ros

Re: Sestina Workshop

Posted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 6:21 pm
by ray miller
So does that mean that someone other than Gavin did delete his comments on my poems?

Re: Sestina Workshop

Posted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 6:24 pm
by Ros
ray miller wrote:So does that mean that someone other than Gavin did delete his comments on my poems?
I don't know specifically about comments on your poems, Ray. But some of his more inappropriate comments have been removed over the past few weeks, yes, either by a mod or by Nicola.

edit: I should add, removed after he has been contacted and asked to modify his behaviour.

Re: Sestina Workshop

Posted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 7:12 pm
by ray miller
Well, I've apologised to Gavin on another thread for accusing him of deleting his posts. Here I'd just like to say how fuckin' amazed I am. I can kind of see the sense in deleting wildly inflammatory posts but the two posts of Gavin's that I saw wouldn't have merited that description and I'd have sooner dealt with them myself, to be honest.But bearing in mind some of the shit thrown my way from other quarters that passed by undeleted, well....as I say, I'm just fuckin' amazed.Hard work here, hard work.

Re: Sestina Workshop

Posted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 7:50 pm
by bodkin
Inflammatory posts are one thing, but not necessarily the whole problem. Mentioning no names but I think a dilemma the mods face is people who post dozens and dozens of posts that are simply gibberish.

You and I, seeing one or two posts on one or two threads think nothing of it, but somebody watching all the posts (Ros has told me that she does this) sees 12, 18 or a dozen go past, contributing nothing to the community...

...so it's hardly surprising if occasionally they step in and remove a proportion of them.

Personally I can see the argument either way:

1) the posts individually do very little damage to the thread they are in, but

2a) if not discouraged, does the problem get worse, and
2b) how do we look to the wanderer passing, notebook in hand?

Part of the problem of keeping a site alive is attracting the worthwhile people in.

Sturgeon's Law applies even more to self-selecting contributors.

Just my thought, I'm not strongly on either side of this one, but I do see there can be a problem...

Ian

oh, and for clarity, these are not people developing from "gibberish" towards "a startling and unforgettable originality"...

they are the ones who seem to be running a program:

while(awake)
{
gibber();
}

I'm all up for people's right to gibber, as long as it's seen I have a right not to be immersed in it. Life's too short to parse word salad.

Re: Sestina Workshop

Posted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 8:04 pm
by Ros
Thanks, bod, that sums it up nicely. It can be individual posts that are obviously offensive/inappropriate - or it can be an overall effect. I always try to discuss it with the individual concerned first.

We either have moderation, imperfect as I admit it is, or we have a chaotic free-for-all with no one in charge. I presume that's been tried elsewhere and fails, since I see no site without mods. I'm genuinely sorry if we're not pleasing everyone, but there we are.

Re: Sestina Workshop

Posted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 8:50 pm
by Pauline
Ray,
I actually wasn't on about your poem.
I found it funny and I'm sure Gavin will be highly amused by it.
He is not backward at coming forward
and I think he will enjoy the banter.
I am not sticking up for him as such,
he certainly doesn't need me to defend him.
He is more than capable of defending himself.
In fact I think he enjoys the craic.
In your own words he can deal with his own shit.
It was another post that I was refering to
which came about from crits received.
I know it wasn't aimed at him directly,
and Nash was careful enough to pull crits from other posts,
(by the way I'm not saying that Nash was having a pop at Gavin)
but it seemed to me to be yet another extension of the piss take that I felt was going on.
It could have been any Tom, Dick or Harriett that was the brunt of this
and I would have felt the same.
Hey, people have had a go at me
taking the piss out of my poor vocabulary or phrasing or words.
I'm not arsed
but it's not right.
Here I'd just like to say how fuckin' amazed I am. I can kind of see the sense in deleting wildly inflammatory posts but the two posts of Gavin's that I saw wouldn't have merited that description and I'd have sooner dealt with them myself, to be honest.But bearing in mind some of the shit thrown my way from other quarters that passed by undeleted, well....as I say, I'm just fuckin' amazed.Hard work here, hard work.
My thoughts too.

Re: Sestina Workshop

Posted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 9:09 pm
by ray miller
Ros. I appreciate the dilemma, yes, and I'm not wanting long drawn arguments and all that on the subject. Just wish I'd realised before! On the matter of moderators, though, I've been using a site for over a year which has no moderators as such and, remarkably enough, they aren't needed. Disputes are very rare, folk generally get along just fine. Dunno why. It's a site primarily for performance poets, the great majority are British, North of England to be exact and there's loads more punters than on PG.Ought to be a recipe for disaster. But not so.

Re: Sestina Workshop

Posted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 9:13 pm
by Nash
OK Pauline, it looks like I'll have to step in to defend myself here.

My poem was absolutely nothing to do with Gavin, I'll reiterate that, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH GAVIN. Not only was it not about Gavin, it wasn't any sort of a dig at anyone here. Surprisingly, I was using the board to workshop poetry ideas......funny that, you ought to try it sometime. I looked for lines randomly in recent crits that fitted together in a theme. I think that the fact that you thought it was about Gavin says a lot more about you than it does about me.

I've been trying to stay out of this whole Gavin argument as I couldn't care less about it and I'm really fucked off that you have forced me into it.

I seriously suggest that you stop trying to drag other people here into your tawdry little arguments.

Re: Sestina Workshop

Posted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 9:18 pm
by Ros
Sorry if you were misled, Ray. I'm glad you've found somewhere that works well. Do you get useful crits there?

Re: Sestina Workshop

Posted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 9:21 pm
by Suzanne
Pauline, do I understand correctly that you think the compilation poem recently posted by Nash was taking a piss on fellow posters? It could not be true. It was a celebration of common crits. It is a pity if it would seen as anything but positive.

Maybe I misunderstood you.

Re: Sestina Workshop

Posted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 9:24 pm
by Ros
Maybe we should draw this to a close. I believe I speak for the mods with my first comment to Ray, and bodkin has clarified better than I did why we sometimes take the actions we do. I stand by that as one of the basic tenets of the site. You can either live with that or you can't. I hope you all can.

Ros

Re: Sestina Workshop

Posted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 9:28 pm
by ray miller
Ros wrote:Sorry if you were misled, Ray. I'm glad you've found somewhere that works well. Do you get useful crits there?


Ah, there's the rub. In short, not as useful as I get here. There are some very good writers and many that aren't. Overall, the quality of the writing and especially the quality of the crits doesn't match here.