October 31, 2008

friday free-for-all...

It's here again. Friday. Most beloved day of the week. And today, you get an extra special treat. A poem. From me. Written by me. Not about me :P

This is a sestina--one of my all-time favorite forms. It hinges on the repetition of six words (I like to use nouns myself) in a given order through the first six stanzas. Then they combine in three short lines in the last stanza. The repetition gives this form a rhymth and flow that is unique (and not drive by meter, I might add!).

The way I like to write sestinas is to have random people give me a noun (now you know why I ask!) and then use those to write the poem. Yes, this means I have less control. It also means that I sometimes have to tie together ideas and objects that no sane person would put together. But that is part of the fun.

This particular sestina was written as a challenge between some friends. We all used the same six words and each wrote a sestina. It was a blast! And here is the result:

Elegy for Constantinople

Dream with me of Istanbul-
of Constantine eating licorice,
a culture in generation,
shrouded by one man’s nebula.
Byzantium hears its epilogue
played over and over on the piano.

In these Turkish streets, my footsteps piano—
I tread ever lighter through Istanbul
searching for the epilogue.
Wedged in cobblestone, the blue-flowered licorice
pulls me into a botanical nebula
and I am anchored by a deep-rooted generation.

Will I ever see my own generation?
A child of mine, sitting at this piano—
sent across space from a sparkling nebula,
whispering the secrets of Istanbul,
sneaking twists of licorice—
Will I ever see my own epilogue?

Pinpoints of prophecy litter the epilogue—
Hints to a wiser generation,
advice sweetened with the root of licorice,
rings through time, hitching a ride in the notes of the piano.
It warns of crusaders sacking Istanbul
and the serendipity tucked within the nebula.

Time wraps this world in nebula—
withholding clarity until the epilogue
as it paces the shores of Istanbul.
Waltzing along the final generation,
minutes trip through, like scales on a piano,
or a nymph feasting on licorice.

From seed to pod to bean to candy delight, licorice
dances in a course nebula,
bowing and blushing, displaying piano
as it delivers a one-word epilogue.
Flora and fauna continue generation,
overtaking the streets of Istanbul.

Let the taste of licorice be this dream’s epilogue
and the nebula of the last generation.
I will play life’s piano and dance on rooftops in Istanbul.


MangyCat said...

*jaw drops* You get better with every poem, Nia. Loved this one. With sestinas, I always seem to love the last stanza the best. For this one, I love the first stanza as well. Nicely done!

Sara said...

Thanks :) I think this is my favorite sestina so far--I am so in love with this form!

Sarah said...

I think fours of college did much more for you than it did me. I needed a dictionary to read your poem. Girl, you are getting to smart. Please come hang out with me and enlighten me!!