Thursday, December 29, 2005

Sestinas Again

Stephen Burt has been writing further thoughts on sestinas, particularly on the question of why there are so many. I've attempted a response there off the top of my head.

I find it an interesting question, partly because I feel implicated (I like reading sestinas and enjoy writing them) and partly because the answers might say something about the nature of contemporary poetry that goes beyond the simple sestina-question.


Julie Carter said...


Thanks for linking to that discussion. I've been looming over there hoping someone else would join in.

Told you I was a rabble rouser!


Rob Mackenzie said...

Yes, I saw your contribution and I particularly liked this paragraph:

I think it’s also worth noting that sestinas look easy. I thought they were, until I tried (and failed!) at one. That sneakiness probably lures the naive into giving them a try and once tried, no matter how bad the result, it’s hard to throw the bastard away.

Too true! Except I don't think your one was a failure.

I like their blog. Steve and Jessie seem like such good people, and I love his "John Ashbery" sestina. I've found a few other poems by him now and have really enjoyed reading them.

Julie Carter said...

I figured you'd get a kick out of that comment. I definitely have more respect for sestinas now, though I still haven't developed a taste for them.

You're contagious, man. Keep away!