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Peer Work

Home  >  Peer Work
Palmer High Sestina
By Ruth Hulbert
Genre: Poetry Level: High School 10-12
Year: 2004 Category: UAA/ADN Creative Writing Contest

I write a sestina this morning in English.
Or not quite a sestina - I don't hold with that math
To cage words. A villanelle's bad enough - and history
Tells us the caged will rebel. In seminar

And reading (especially spelling) we see that English
Transcends any regulation or government.
No lexical laws nor syntax levied, in history,
Could halt words from evolving, untamed as biology.

Don't be fooled by your Spell-Check, thinking math
And not humanity, is our language's government.
This tongue can sing. From seeds sown in seminar
Grow love in philosophy, life in biology.

Ruth Hulbert adds the following about the structure of her poem:

"A note on the form: Normally, a sestina has several stanzas of six lines each. Six words, one from the end of each line in the first stanza, are repeated as the line-ending words throughout the poem, though in a different order in each stanza. This poem is actually only a semi-sestina, in which the six words are my six classes from last semester. The form of the poem is based on Palmer High's four-classes-per-day rotating schedule, through one three-day cycle."

 
About the Author: Ruth Hulbert, 18, graduated from Palmer High School this year. Her poem won First Place for Poetry for Grades 10-12 and was named Editor's Choice.
 

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