Saturday, April 19, 2014

OULIPOST #19: SESTINA



The prompt:
This will be one of your most challenging Oulipost prompts! A sestina is a poetic form of six six-line stanzas. The end-words of the lines of each stanza repeat those of the first, but in a differing order that in each successive stanza follows the permutation: 615243. The entire sequence of end words is thus: 123456; 615243; 364125; 532614; 451362; 246531. All words and phrases must be sourced from your newspaper text.

The process:
Such cute kitty. Anyway, I tried to follow the rules but....I didn't. I couldn't source all the words. I just sourced my end words. To be somewhat successful, I had to throw caution to the wind. I did source some words from the source text. So, that was sort of following the rules. Doug Luman is the man and I used his excel. I still am not entirely sure if created a proper sestina but I gave it a go. It's the longest poem I've ever composed, I think. 

Also, the Excel document and myself screwed up at the end and I did not intend the poem to end the way it did but I like it. I changed a few tenses and pluralizations of words. 

The result: 

A harrowing, glossy, (happy) experience

Seeking sustenance proves harrowing
the pangs of hunger lingering
a bologna sandwich, not normal 
food photographs glossy
Eating lunch with friends
A fond memory

You are a memory
I search for happiness, something less harrowing
A food for the soul, Could it be friends? 
A walk to find what is lingering
Yogurt--- glossy
Is tidy the new normal?

I wonder what is really normal?
Is it something in our memory?
Is it new, exciting, shocking and glossy?
Do we shrink to a whisper, something less harrowing?
We are strong, but wounds still linger
We peer into ourselves, we search for friends.

Changing colors, changing friends
A chameleon, is that normal?
Suspects in this, a motive still linger
I cannot erase your memory,
into something less harrowing
Our photographs shiny and glossy

Feelings masked under layers of glossy
Paint, a face hidden to friends
sustenance still proves harrowing
I will never be normal 
It's all just a memory
Balogna sandwich thoughts still linger

I grew to find, it's okay to linger
Cover your face with all things glossy
Until it's all just a happy memory
Hold tight to new and old  friends
You will never be normal 
Because if you are, you life is harrowing

I cried because it was all so harrowing
I dried my tears and I’ve stopped seeking normal
You are my friend
(and my normal...)

Source:

Rusell, Jenna. "For Watertown residents, normal will never be quite the same." The Boston Globe.  19 Apr 2014. A1-A6. Print. 

Moskowitz,Eric. "Danny takes strength from ordeal with Tsarnaevs." The Boston Globe.  19 Apr 2014. A1-A6. Print. 


2 comments:

Sonja Johanson said...

We all tweak the forms to make them possible for us! Strong regional theme running through your work, Nicole - very nice.

Nicole said...

Thank you so much!! I try! :)