The Light Of The Moon

Written for:  dVerse Poets Prompt – Poetry Form:  Sestina (posted by Victoria Slotto)

Allons-y to Provence in the south of France, and back in time to the 12th Century. The form is thought to have been developed by a troubadour, “a developer of verse,” Arnault Daniel. As a troubadour, Daniel would have set his verse to music since the theme was often focused on love.

The form is quite complex and the poet is held to a number of strict requirements, based on the repetition of six words which follow a given pattern of repetition as the end words of each line.

The sestina contains six stanzas, each with six lines and concludes with a three line envoi. The pattern of the form is as follows:
1. A,B,C,D,E,F
2. F,A,E,B,D,C
3. C,F,D,A,B,E
4. E,C,B,F,A,D
5. D,E,A,C,F,B
6. B,D,F, E,C,A
7. BE, DC, FA (The envoi of three lines with BDF midline and ECA as the end lines.) Note: The Poetry Foundation gives this variation on the envoi: FB, AD, EC. Use either one.

Rather than rely on rhyme, the end line repetition creates a sense of rhyme. If you are really up for a challenge you may opt to choose rhyming end words. As for meter, it is optional, though you can work with iambs.

A key to success lies in working around a theme, thus choosing appropriate words. If you decide to try for an iambic poem, keep the end words in mind so that you end up with an accented final syllable.

You cannot always count on the moon,
to provide ample light in the dark.
A crescent is hardly a clear thought,
though they sometimes resemble magic.
Come and sit with me for a spell.
When light is right I will give you my heart.

Remember when you gifted me a chocolate heart,
while we sat together under a full moon
that was bewitching as a spell.
You knew I liked my chocolate dark.
Once I attended a crowded magic
show, incomparable to the moon, I thought.

Yes, I have given serious thought
to your proposal; you have touched my heart.
No, I do not wonder if you still possess magic.
It is just that I see myself free in moon-
light. There’s a face, a wink, on a dark
side of moon, like two silhouettes that spell

freedom by standing apart, and also spell
love for each other. That is my thought,
though it may sound like I am practicing dark
arts. Let me assure you, I see a heart
glowing brightly in the light of that moon.
Sometimes it’s fun to let a little magic

into your life. Look up at the sky’s magic-
a moon, stars of pitchers and dippers spelled
out as shapes we trace under a lit up moon.
There is no guarantee I will be free. Thoughts
occur whether alone or with you, my heart.
I have wallowed in living on the dark

side but there are those times when dark
becomes oppressive, and I crave a magic
wand of light in the shape of a heart.
I hope you do not think I’ve placed a spell
on you. Why not allow us a bit more thought
on the subject. Soon will come a full moon.

The spell of darkness will leave
in a whoosh, and magic thoughts
win out. I envision a heart-shaped moon.

About purplepeninportland

I am a freelance poet, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. I live with my husband, John, and two charming rescue dogs–Marion Miller and Murphy. We spent eight lovely years in Portland, OR, but are now back in New York. My goal is to create and share poetry with others who write, or simply enjoy reading poetry. I hope to touch a nerve in you, and feel your sparks as well.
This entry was posted in Purple's Home and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to The Light Of The Moon

  1. Very thought-filled sestina, Sara, written under the moon’s spell, no doubt. I especially like this:
    There’s a face, a wink, on a dark
    side of moon, like two silhouettes that spell

    freedom by standing apart, and also spell
    love for each other.

    You’ve done well with the form in the first six stanza, however, the final three, the envoi, needs to use the words you chose as defined above. I’ve no doubt that you can tweak it to do just that…though I really like the message of the envoi. Just find a way to express that woosh line so the chosen word is the end word.


  2. robtkistner says:

    Extremely well done Sara, given the mind bending nature if the brutal sestina.


  3. Grace says:

    And so be it. I so love your concluding line:

    I envision a heart-shaped moon.


  4. memadtwo says:

    This becomes its own spell cast into moonlight (K)


  5. lynn__ says:

    The moon and dark chocolate work their magic!


  6. Dark chocolate and moon goes well together… love the magic of love you have created in this poem


  7. This seems a mix of some memory of proposal and chocolate, perhaps. It does contrast so well with the moon, love and magic. Some very clever weaving of words and your heart shaped ending. It’s so full of the mystery of moonlight.


Comments are closed.