Wednesday, February 3, 2010

My first sestina

[For the uninitiated: A sestina is a highly structured poem consisting of six six-line stanzas followed by a tercet. The same set of six words ends the lines of each of the six-line stanzas, but in a different order each time. This is the structure:

Stanza 1: A, B, C, D, E, F
Stanza 2: F, A, E, B, D, C
Stanza 3: C, F, D, A, B, E
Stanza 4: E, C, B, F, A, D
Stanza 5: D, E, A, C, F, B
Stanza 6: B, D, F, E, C, A
Tercet: AB CD EF]

A: Camden
B: school
C: Spring
D: walking
E: wandering
F: rain

It was a rainy morning in Camden.
People hurrying in haste to school.
Thor had forwarded monsoon to Spring.
All around with stoic expressions, walking
Thinking, brooding and wandering;
Were people, pelted by cold rain.

It is easy to lose yourself in the rain;
I found myself meandering away from Camden.
It is easier to not think and just go wandering
With no destination, last place in mind being school.
Easiest, maybe, is to fool yourself that you are walking
When all you are doing is wait for eternity, for Spring.

It was an ironic season, this year's Spring
When you expect sunshine, you get rain.
When you want to stay still, you see yourself walking.
When you need homely warmth, you receive the frigidness of Camden.
When you feel yourself drawn back East, you move toward school.
Mentally, physically, perpetually wandering.

I saw a drenched warbler wandering
In the sky - a subdued daughter of the Spring.
The songbird flew high over school.
I could catch her faint lament, through the sonorous rain.
The cry of the songbird in Camden
Seemed louder than the garrulous talk of the crowd walking.

It seemed to me ominous that amongst the masses walking
With individual purpose, I was the only one wandering.
I could see in the distance the outline of Camden.
The clouds had set in, in true nature of this year's Spring.
Bombarding us with the austere force of his guardians, the rain,
Thor struck his hammer not far from the school.

I could not remember the direction of my school.
I had finally stopped walking.
Ultimately muted, was the scream of the rain.
The idle blur of the surrounding was the only thing wandering
In my mind. The last season I would witness was this year's Spring.
The last place I would stand on, was meant to be Camden.

On my mind was neither Camden, nor my former school.
It was the ephemeral image of a real Spring, and me with joyous step walking.
There would now be no more wandering, no more clatter of mirthless rain.