Monday, November 26, 2007


I had to write a poem for tomorrow's Imaginative Writing class. I had the option of writing about myself and family or writing a Sestina. I thought that writing a syllabic and stanzaic poem would be easy, but I wrote two lines and stared at the screen. Since Sestina's have a specific form of their own, I combined the two options together. This is what Wikipedia had to say about Sestina's: "A sestina is a highly structured poem consisting of six six-line stanzas followed by a tercet (called its envoy or tornada), for a total of thirty-nine lines. The same set of six words ends the lines of each of the six-line stanzas, but in a different order each time; if we number the first stanza's lines 123456, then the words ending the second stanza's lines appear in the order 615243, then 364125, then 532614, then 451362, and finally 246531. This organization is referred to as retrogradatio cruciata ("retrograde cross"). These six words then appear in the tercet as well, with the tercet's first line usually containing 1 and 2, its second 3 and 4, and its third 5 and 6."

Thank you Wikipedia for saving me time on writing out the explanation myself. Anyways, as you may have guessed, I'm posting my family sestina, cleverly entitled: Seeing Family. Not all of it rings true, but being set to using the same six words is harder than it looks. The words I used were: check, double, confines, morning, reach and home. Of course the poem is repetitive, but that is the nature of the Sestina.

Allison Chin
Novermber 27, 2007
English 559

Seeing Family

When I finish with school, I check
to see if the dog has created double
the chores before I crash to the soft confines
of my bed. The sun is barely shining the morning
that my family is scheduled to arrive. I reach
for my apron and try to tidy up my fur drenched home.

My family is excited to finally get to see my New York home,
where my mother greets my boyfriend and bends to check
out the dog with a warm reach
and tight hug around her neck. My father fumbles with the double
zippers of his green suitcase with bat-like eyes, feeling for the pull tabs with numb fingers. He is tired and grumpy after missing the coffee rounds this morning
in the plane’s coffin like confines.

My brother immediately runs to the confines
of the computer room, where he feels at home.
It is ten in the morning
And he already has to log on to Myspace to check
his messages, starved of teenaged communication. I can hear the double
click of the mouse that is just within his clammy-handed reach.

I try to impress my parents as I reach
for the plate of homemade cinnamon rolls hidden in the confines
of the refrigerator’s concealing double
doors. My boyfriend’s mother is also visiting our home
and I have to hide the sweets and constantly check
to make sure that they are still a secret every morning.

I warm the rolls in the oven for their morning
snack and can see the gleam of happiness in their eyes as they reach
for the soft, sticky sweets. After their first bites, I check
to make sure that they like them and return to the confines
of the kitchen where the cinnamon rolls make the room smell like home.
My father asks me to make more, this time with the recipe doubled.

With my family warm and content they are likely to double
the amount of money they want to spend on me this morning
when we leave my sweet smelling home
and head towards the mall. As I reach
for the stand up mixer in the confines
of Williams Sonoma’s back corner, my mother and I check the price.

We shouldn’t have checked, but we didn’t think that it would be double the price of what we wanted to spend.
Disappointed, I slumped out of the confines of cream and brown colored store like a child who received coal on Christmas morning,
and reached for my keys as we head for home.

No comments: