Duet {a sestina}

Duet {a sestina}

I took this picture on a cool September morning, when the dew was still clinging to the iron grate of the fire pit cover.


A two-toned melody will sing tonight;
listen to the layered song
keep her company ‘til morning
join in the chorus of chiming rain
give her the time…
or else you may forget

her voice. Don’t forget
to etch her words tonight
in your notebook of time,
the lyrics of Joy and Pain, her song
of  bittersweet praise, even if all night the rain
hems you ’til morning.

Isn’t the yellow morning
when we forget
the pouring spills of rain?
See the sylvan glade? Night-
fall dissipates into dawn, a song
of pearls, dripped one at a time.

Words whisper through time,
through the sunrise. Each morning
heralds a golden, hopeful song.
It’s not luck, a clover-leafed four! Get
the old tunes playing tonight
and let’s get out of the drenching rain.

Very soon, love will rein
in all who’ve sorrowed through time;
all who’ve laughed too. Night
will be gone; joy will replace mourning,
all pains will soon forget
they once were lyrics in a bleeding song.

Each life, a vibrant melodious song,
pulses louder than pressing rain.
You will remember, not forget
Joy and Pain; glorious days of summer-time
past, and embrace future days of morning,
after moon serenades the stars tonight.

Love does not forget its heart-etched song;
Joy bursts through night and quenches the rain,
evaporates sorrowed time into exquisite golden morning.


This poetry form is called a Sestina, in which six words are repeated in an ordered sequence at the end of each line in each stanza, in the following format:
1 2 3 4 5 6         – End words of lines in first sestet.
6 1 5 2 4 3         – End words of lines in second sestet.
3 6 4 1 2 5         – End words of lines in third sestet.
5 3 2 6 1 4         – End words of lines in fourth sestet.
4 5 1 3 6 2         – End words of lines in fifth sestet.
2 4 6 5 3 1         – End words of lines in sixth sestet.
(6 2) (1 4) (5 3)   – Middle and end words of lines in tercet.

***from the archives… I wrote this sestina a few years ago.


2 thoughts on “Duet {a sestina}

  1. Prasanta,
    Such hope in your sestina…of “joy bursts through night” and the discipline of “bittersweet praise” as we know our tears and sorrows are not the final word…there is an “exquisite golden morning” coming one day…yes…our hope as we wait…Blessings to you and yours this Christmas :)

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