Sestina of Blue

Written for:  dVerse Poets Pub – Meeting The Bar – Sestina  (posted by Bjorn)

“Hello poets and strugglers with the Sestina. I think most of you have already found out that being steered by the end-word is the really hard thing about writing any form (and especially a sestina) is the “fence” that end-words sometimes can be, but with some additional flexibility these words can become like cairns leading the poem in the right direction rather than the brick-wall at the end of a cul-de-sac.

Most of you probably already know what Homonyms are, but here is a brief description.

Homonym: Two words that sounds and (sometimes) are spelled the same but with different meanings (sometimes called homophones).

As an example the word bear can both mean the animal bear or the verb. Another example is to, too and two where the pronunciation is the same but neither spelling nor the meaning. What is you and what is ewe?

The use of Homonyms in poetry is a very good tool for wordplay and fun and is a great tool in our toolbox. In the Sestina it can a crucial element to avoid a poem that becomes too repetitive by being locked in only one meaning of the word. I view the possibility a little bit like coming to a crossroad where you are getting the option to turn left instead of going straight ahead.”


He perched on my fence, a bird of blue
like a sun-drenched sky in Summer–
a day of which romantic poets write.
Bluebird of happiness, help me to heal.
In my heart of hearts, I guess I knew
he was far from a title of idol.

Bluebird chirped content to sit idle
’til a sudden swirl of chill wind blew.
He puffed out his pinions, seemed he knew
we would soon catch back of Summer.
Fall, tender me new love, no more heels.
This bluebird will build a nest just right.

Anon comes change of color, a rite
of Fall–pumpkins, apples, and my tree idol–
Japanese maple–whose wine leaves will heal.
Friends will visit, share cheese array of bleu,
sharp cheddar, havarti. Dream of Summer
-ing by the seaside next year, this plan new.

Rustic, cozy cabins, for we knew
a group of women seeking place to write.
Although rain dominated this Summer,
finches still sang, crows cawed, life idled.
In tranquil yard, I read under a blue
umbrella, wile days away; hope to heal.

Strolling, I meet girl teaching dog to “heel”.
Smiling, I recall when training was new
to me. Dog planted his paws as snow blew
around us; stubbornly, thought he was right.
Tried training school. Dog remained idle.
Sensing slight chill, I think about Summer

ceding to Fall. ‘Stead of good old summer
time, it’s out of sneakers, and into heels.
Today, I spied oddly-shaped tree. Idyl
-lic day when I spot ones that are new
to me. Snap their photos and write,
pairing them with poems–oaks, spruces of blue.

What to eat this Summer night, something new?
Soothing foods that heal, sound about right.
In yard, my idol’s back, that bird of blue.

Homonyms – a help with forms

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.
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4 Responses to Sestina of Blue

  1. memadtwo says:

    I like the way this travels through the seasons. And great use of homonyms! (K)


  2. This is indeed soothing. You create the perfect atmosphere for the season and used the homonyms well.


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