How to write a Sestina It is fun and easy to write a sestina and the form allows the poet to put something up on the computer screen and play with the words. In a time of writer’s block a sestina can sometimes help the writer have something to work with.
Sestina is a verse form with six unrhymed sestets (six line stanzas), each with the same set of final words arranged in different order. The sestina concludes with a three-line stanza that incorporates all six repeated words.
Choose six words with energy for you. Two or three of the words will have less energy than the other words and that is good. Once you have written the first stanza you are on your way.
You can either mix up the six words in each stanza or follow this form.
1 st stanza: 123456
2 nd stanza: 615243
3 rd stanza: 364125
4 th stanza: 532614
5 th stanza: 451362
6 th stanza: 246531
Write a final three line stanza with one of the core words in the middle of each line and another at the end. Read my poem, Diamonds and Sutras which is an example of a sestina.