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Famous Sestina Poems by Famous Poets

These are examples of famous Sestina poems written by some of the greatest and most-well-known modern and classical poets. PoetrySoup is a great educational poetry resource of famous sestina poems. These examples illustrate what a famous sestina poem looks like and its form, scheme, or style (where appropriate).

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by Bishop, Elizabeth
 September rain falls on the house.
In the failing light, the old grandmother
sits in the kitchen with the child
beside the Little Marvel Stove,
reading the jokes from the almanac,
laughing and talking...Read More



by Alighieri, Dante
 I have come, alas, to the great circle of shadow,
to the short day and to the whitening hills,
when the colour is all lost from the grass,
though my desire will...Read More

by Kipling, Rudyard
 Speakin' in general, I'ave tried 'em all 
The 'appy roads that take you o'er the world. 
Speakin' in general, I'ave found them good 
For such as cannot use one...Read More

by Francis, Robert
 A wind's word, the Hebrew Hallelujah.
I wonder they never gave it to a boy
(Hal for short) boy with wind-wild hair.
It means Praise God, as well it should since praise
Is...Read More

by Pound, Ezra
 LOQUITUR: En Bertans de Born. Dante Alighieri put this man in hell
for that he was a stirrer up of strife. Eccovi! Judge ye! Have I dug
him up again? The...Read More

by Justice, Donald
 We have climbed the mountain.
There's nothing more to do.
It is terrible to come down
To the valley
Where, amidst many flowers,
One thinks of snow,

As formerly, amidst snow,
Climbing the mountain,
One thought of...Read More

by Lehman, David
 for Jim Cummins 

In Iowa, Jim dreamed that Della Street was Anne Sexton's
twin. Dave drew a comic strip called the "Adventures of Whitman," 
about a bearded beer-guzzler in Superman...Read More

by Raleigh, Sir Walter
 Our great work, the Otia Merseiana, 
Edited by learned Mister Sampson, 
And supported by Professor Woodward, 
Is financed by numerous Bogus Meetings
Hastily convened by Kuno Meyer 
To impose upon...Read More

by Petrarch, Francesco
SESTINA I. Mia benigna fortuna e 'l viver lieto. IN HIS MISERY HE DESIRES DEATH THE MORE HE REMEMBERS HIS PAST CONTENTMENT AND COMFORT.  My...Read More

by Kipling, Rudyard
 Speakin' in general, I'ave tried 'em all
The 'appy roads that take you o'er the world.
Speakin' in general, I'ave found them good
For such as cannot use one bed too long,
But...Read More

by Wilcox, Ella Wheeler
 I wandered o'er the vast green plains of youth, 
And searched for Pleasure. On a distant height
Fame's silhouette stood sharp against the skies.
Beyond vast crowds that thronged a broad...Read More

by Petrarch, Francesco
SESTINA I. A qualunque animale alberga in terra. NIGHT BRINGS HIM NO REST. HE IS THE PREY OF DESPAIR.  To every animal that dwells on...Read More

by Petrarch, Francesco
SESTINA VII. Non ha tanti animali il mar fra l' onde. HE DESPAIRS OF ESCAPE FROM THE TORMENTS BY WHICH HE IS SURROUNDED.  Nor Ocean...Read More

by Petrarch, Francesco
[Pg 34] SESTINA II Giovane donna sott' un verde lauro. THOUGH DESPAIRING OF PITY, HE VOWS TO LOVE HER UNTO DEATH.  A...Read More

by Petrarch, Francesco
[Pg 210] SESTINA VIII. Là ver l' aurora, che sì dolce l' aura. SHE IS MOVED NEITHER BY HIS VERSES NOR HIS TEARS.  Read More

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