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A Changing Heart

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The Sestina follows a strict pattern: a specific repetition of the six end-words of the first stanza, as the end words of the five remaining six-line stanzas -- the six stanzas culminating in a three-line envoi. (See the formula below this explanation.) The lines may be of any length, though in its initial incarnation, the Sestina followed a syllabic restriction. In the contemporary Sestina,  the use of occasional slant rhyme/half-rhyme end words is acceptable. (Slant rhyme, also known as half-rhyme or imperfect rhyme, refers to words that almost rhyme or appear to the eye to do so.)  Regarding my Sestina "A Changing Heart," I took such liberties.

Here is the prescribed form for the "Sestina." (Each number represents the last word of each of the 6 lines of the 6 stanzas):

         1st stanza  1 2 3 4 5 6

         2nd stanza  6 1 5 2 4 3

         3rd stanza  3 6 4 1 2 5

         4th stanza  5 3 2 6 1 4

         5th stanza  4 5 1 3 6 2

         6th stanza  2 4 6 5 3 1

Envoi  (the last 3 lines -- the last 2 words):


(that is the most common one I saw on line)  (I also saw)




Longing for heart-quiet in the inevitable fall into Winter’s short days of sun forwarding to Spring’s longer days — a circling back in the sameness of time. Heart-and-mind-numbing time with no respite. A longing to quiet those thoughts playing back battle after battle. The awful repetition. Mind and life wasting. And, in the darkest season, the conviction that the sun will only half-rise in this lifetime of mine. Feeling that sting as from a bee’s disquiet of green slumber. Swelling to a fault, every damned day. Slamming me back, season upon season. Holding me back. Chilling me with doubt that sun- shine can overcome rainfall and that, invariably, given time, better times will come and quietly advance into Spring. Fast forward, past Spring to Summer, and onto Fall springing back to Winter, and round again. Flashbacks ever more glaring under the sun, then, quite out of the blue — a glance, a nod. Overrun with fluttering, my heart paces in time with fledging love’s free-fall. And, with the passing of another Fall, Winter heralds in the sweetest of Springs: daffodils and Easter bonnets — a lifetime of celebration ahead, no looking back. Past risk and reason, I bask in the sun that is love’s shine. Rain or shine, quiet in the peace of it all, Fall after Fall, back to Winter, Spring, Summer. Quiet as a Spring sun bursting through clouds. Love, for all time, requited.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2014

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Date: 3/26/2015 12:05:00 PM
This is awesome creativity.... Going straight to my favs...
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Date: 3/11/2015 1:46:00 PM
Beautiful re-write! Your notes on the form are excellent. Could not have done better. I recently wrote a sestina. I try not to use a suffix on my end words or slant rhyme them. I use 1-2, 3-4, 5-6 in my envoi. See "from Old Arcadia," (IV. ii [Agelastus]) or page 26 of "The Making of a Poem, A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms" by Mark Strand and Eavan Boland for an example.
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Date: 3/9/2015 3:43:00 PM
Not sure of poem's theme, possibly circularity of self with seasons. Sestinas usually have the same six words at ends of stanza lines in a formulated order. It is a difficult form, but fun to work with. You have chosen a challenging form and subject. Interesting read.
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Date: 3/8/2015 10:33:00 PM
My interpretation of your write was so many seasons/time wasted in Life awaiting comfort from love...beautifully written words..
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Date: 3/8/2015 1:27:00 PM
Ruth, I could hear you, well done. If I may offer to you, A Special Treatment KA Kimmel
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Date: 3/5/2015 6:16:00 PM
Ruth, a very thought provoking poem and from knowing myself, that we all go through seasons in our lives we need to hang on to the fact that, "this to will pass". Great poem!
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Date: 3/5/2015 12:21:00 PM
I especially like "...then out the blue...time stops, my heart races, falling in love..." The cycle of life, of love and pleasant surprises; you have penned a masterpiece, thoughtfully.
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Date: 3/5/2015 11:38:00 AM
This is life, so well expressed. The quietness at the end is superb. Thank you.
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Date: 3/5/2015 3:02:00 AM
Hi Ruth, This is really very well crafted. You have great stylization, form, structure and interesting language usage. It has genuine merit. Keep up the good work. I gave it a 7 rating. Have a great day. Earl
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Date: 3/4/2015 1:07:00 PM
one of the best poems i've ever read..thank you for this wonderful job
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Date: 3/4/2015 9:07:00 AM
Ruth, your poem is of great thoughts and personal experiences. Thank you for sharing.
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Date: 3/4/2015 7:11:00 AM
I'm sure her poem has the same feeling of all of us in the northeast and elsewhere where the weather is disconcerting and cold. I think she covered her feelings quite well.
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Date: 3/4/2015 12:24:00 AM
I enjoyed this very much Ruth, it's still cold here in Scotland, this made me feel warm. ??
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Date: 3/3/2015 11:29:00 PM
A rueful, almost desolate start, that sudden joyous jolt and a warm, comforting, contented finish. Lovely verse. #7> Mister Viv x
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Date: 3/3/2015 4:48:00 PM
I enjoyed reading the picture you painted Ruth....the stilted structure, highlights your feelings and experiences....nice pen...Peter
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