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Sestina (Latin ‘sextus’ = sixth)

Form is based on 6’s – ideal for a mathematically minded poet!

6 unrhymed stanza of 6 lines each with a rolling pattern.

The last words of each of the six lines of the first stanza roll over into the last words of all other lines of the poem.

Last stanza is a Tercet (3 lines) that uses all 6 words — 1 in the middle and 1 at the end of each of the three lines.


Stanza 1 – Lines end with A, B, C, D, E, F

Stanza 2 – Lines end with F, A, E, B, D, C

Stanza 3 – Lines end with C, F, D, A, B, E

Stanza 4 – Lines end with E, C, B, F, A, D

Stanza 5 – Lines end with D, E, A, C, F, B

Stanza 6 – Lines end with B, D, F, E, C, A

Stanza 7/Tercet – Lines 1, 2, 3 include A&B, C&D, E&F