The words that end each line of the first stanza are used as line endings in each of the following stanzas, rotated in a set pattern. The invention of the form is usually attributed to Arnaut Daniel , a troubadour of 12th-century Provence , and the first sestinas were written in the Occitan language of that region. The form was cultivated by his fellow troubadours, then by other poets across Continental Europe in the subsequent centuries; they contributed to what would become the "standard form" of the sestina. The earliest example of the form in English appeared in , though they were rarely written in Britain until the end of the 19th century.
Writing a Sestina
Writing Sestinas (How To) - HubPages
It is a fixed-verse form, meaning it follows a strict structure. The first six stanzas are sextains; they have six lines each. The seventh stanza has three lines. Daniel is often credited with inventing the form. Italian poets Francesco Petrarch and Dante greatly admired Daniel and spread the form throughout Italy. By the end of the 16th century, English poets were writing sestinas as well. There is more to a sestina than seven stanzas.
Victoria and Albert Museum
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So yeah, I've been meaning to post something about the poetic form known as the sestina for quite some time. It's actually one of my favorite forms. You pick 6 words, rotate them as the end words in 6 stanzas and then include 2 per of the words per line in your final stanza. Common Poetry Terms. While many poets try to write sestinas in iambic pentameter, that is not a requirement.