Write about anything
Earlier this year I tried my hand at writing my first sestina style poem. Though I have played around with poetry a bit in the past (mostly limericks and another one that I am very proud of), I don’t think I had tried to write fixed form since high school and I know that I had never written a sestina before.
I was inspired, motivated and challenged to do this as a part of one of Melissa Ford’s awesome MFA Sunday School assignments back in May. A previous week’s assignment was to write for 15 minutes a day and for awhile, I am proud to share, that I had prioritized doing so on a project that is important to me, but I was not spending much time on before Melissa’s Budgeting Writing Time workshop. I have gotten away from 15 minutes a day in recent months and intend to return to that routine soon.
Writing a sestina was not an easy task for me, especially getting started, even though Melissa gave us our six end words to work with: fair, to, sun, hope, rest, sing. However, once I got the hang of it, the writing flowed more fluidly than I expected. To read more sestinas, find out more about this poetry form and/or learn how to try to write your own, click here.
I confess that I spent a bit more than the 30 minutes or so that Melissa encouraged us to, being that this was her version of the Food Network’s show Chopped (only using end words for a sestina poem, instead of ingredients to make a recipe out of), but not a lot more time. I took a few days off from using my 15 minutes to work on my writing project to focus on this sestina and am glad that I did. It was a nice break from my project and an interesting experience.
Now I give you my first sestina. I hope you enjoy it and look forward to hearing what you think.
Life isn’t fair.
That’s a lesson I try to teach my son
and my daughter too.
I want them to work hard and find rest.
When it rains I hope
they will be able to sing.
I feel blessed that I am able to sing.
Though life may not be fair,
somehow there is always hope.
With each new day the sun
rises and when it sets we rest.
Another day, another chance – take two.
We have a choice how to
live and whether to sing.
In peace we will rest
if we try to be fair.
I want my daughter and son
to know how to find hope.
When we have hope
in our life, we get to
find joy with the rising sun.
When we choose to sing
we learn to live when life isn’t fair.
With that knowledge we can rest.
Some days it isn’t easy to rest,
we find it hard to see the hope
in our affairs.
One day at a time is what it takes to
be able to sing,
to find courage to greet the morning sun.
I wish that all daughters and sons
are able to find rest,
and to hope.
We do have a choice to
seek joy when life isn’t fair.
When the sun comes up after we rest,
let us search for hope when life doesn’t feel fair.
We can do this together if we choose to sing.
Have you ever written a sestina or another form of poetry?
What is your favorite kind of poetry?
This post originally appeared on my blog in May 2012.
Kathy Benson is a bereaved and blessed mom, writer and group fitness instructor trying to live mindfully and find joy in the journey after dealing with secondary infertility and loss for five years. She lives in Chicago, Illinois with her husband and two living children.