Life’s Door – Sestina

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I

Thinking that life was just a picnic,
I lived my days never worrying about tomorrow.
Then old age began to knock upon my door,
Bending my knees and weighing my back.
And though the party is far from over,
I contemplate a old woman’s destiny.

II

I played at life and thought I knew my destiny.
I know it wasn’t always a sunny country picnic.
I drank in the sunshine, played, now it’s nearly over.
I wait for the knock, the last tomorrow,
I’m reminded that to dust, I’ll have to go back,
I’ll walk beyond the veil and close the door.

III

Death hides behind a battered door,
And each of us has our special day and destiny.
We’ll travel forward then and never look back.
No loving, singing, no bright picnic.
There’ll be no new tomorrow,
We’ll reach the final Game Over!

IV

But now I’m still here and the game’s not over!
The only passages are through my front door,
I have a today, there’s still a tomorrow!
I know nothing of fate or destiny.
I still think of life as a party or picnic,
Harder to enjoy though with a bad back…

V

Wonder strikes me as I look back.
I think of my younth when love was over.
Wailing, that I’d never have another picnic,
Thinking life was over, and closed the door
Thinking I’d lived a star-crossed destiny,
All was lost,  there was no tomorrow.

VI

Yet what does youth know of tomorrow?
There’s no past upon which to look back!
Youth knows not that they’ve yet to make their destiny,
They’d give up the game before it’s over!
They’d run too quickly to cross the door!
From which there will never be another picnic.

VII

One day there’ll be no tomorrow, live fully before it’s over.
Youth, get  back from somber death’s door.
Choose your destiny, choose a sunny picnic!

@)—>—>—

This morning I came across this complicated poem, the sestina over at Ye Olde Foole’s place.

I have to admit I like the challenge of some of these older forms.  This one was created in the twelfth century and was used by the French troubadours of that era.  I had to do it in Word, it was too complicated to do here directly.  I color coded the end words of the first line in order to write the verses that followed.

First stanza, 1 ..2 ..3 ..4 ..5 ..6
Second stanza, ..6 ..1 ..5 .. 2 ..4 ..3
Third stanza, ..3 ..6 ..4 ..1 ..2 ..5
Fourth stanza, ..5 ..3 ..2 ..6 ..1 ..4
Fifth stanza, ..4 ..5 ..1 ..3 ..6 ..2
Sixth stanza, ..2 ..4 ..6 ..5 ..3 ..1

Concluding tercet:
middle of first line ..2, end of first line ..5
middle of second line ..4, end of second line..3
middle if third line ..6, end of third line ..1

If you’d like to try the form…please link here so I can read them!

5 thoughts on “Life’s Door – Sestina

  1. I’d love to try the form if it did not look so damn complicated :/ I do admire yours and Gary’s masterfull crafting tho.
    It is often hard to weave these forms while maintaining coherence and clear message, but you do it with what it seems such an ease. My favourite part was this:”Wonder strikes me as I look back.
    I think of my younth when love was over.
    Wailing, that I’d never have another picnic,
    Thinking life was over, and closed the door
    Thinking I’d lived a star-crossed destiny,
    All was lost, there was no tomorrow.”

    Like

    • Thanks…it was really scary in the beginning. I knew where I was going to go once the first six lines were written though. It’s a very complicated little piece of poetry! I used Cubby’s color coding trick to keep track of the ending words. That little trick has helped me many many times!

      Like

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