A Sestina – My Gardening Year

by | Apr 22, 2013 | Proper Poetry, WritersDigest.com | 0 comments

 My garden’s lovely, all pink and purple
interspersed with the odd splash of yellow
because it is finally Spring season.
Everywhere else, of course, it is green,
except for the footpaths and patio,
and, not having a lawn, where there’s gravel.

There’s lots of hyacinths in my gravel,
they’re all growing wild and mostly purple.
Looking from the windows by my patio
I can see patches of sunshine yellow
daffodils still blooming amid the green.
This year surely has a mixed up season.

I missed mowing my lawn late one season
so next year I replaced it with gravel,
and just to make sure my garden was green
I placed conifers amid the purple.
Then my concrete ducks I painted yellow
and left them to waddle the patio.

All my flower pots on my patio
will be vibrant all the Summer season,
but there’ll be nowt in them that is yellow
or in among rocks around the gravel,
because I buy plants that are purple
along with white, pink, magenta, and green.

I’ll sit under my sunshade of lime green
to escape the sunshine on my patio,
admiring the many shades of purple
blooming all through the summer season
in the borders, and around the gravel,
and then I’ll start missing mellow yellow!

I’ll sigh as my trees start turning yellow,
then shades of red, although some will stay green.
As it’s Autumn, I will clear the gravel,
I’ll empty all the tubs on my patio
to mark the end of gardening season,
and chop down my buddleas, all purple.

Leaves lie on gravel, all curled and yellow,
my hands will go purple, flagstones go green,
no flowers on my patio, it’s Winter season.

A Sestina is a structured 39-line poetic form consisting of six stanzas of six lines each, followed by a three-line stanza. The words that end each line of the first stanza are used as line endings in each of the following stanzas, rotated in a set pattern.

Table of sestina end-words
Stanza 1 Stanza 2 Stanza 3 Stanza 4 Stanza 5 Stanza 6
1 A 6 F 3 C 5 E 4 D 2 B
2 B 1 A 6 F 3 C 5 E 4 D
3 C 5 E 4 D 2 B 1 A 6 F
4 D 2 B 1 A 6 F 3 C 5 E
5 E 4 D 2 B 1 A 6 F 3 C
6 F 3 C 5 E 4 D 2 B 1 A