Day 16: Happy National Poetry Month

So yesterday I posted a failed sestina. But what I didn’t realize was it could always get worse. My second try was so bad I named it “Take 2” and I haven’t even gone back to work on punctuation and capitalization. If you’ve ever read the children’s rhyme about the old lady who swallowed the fly, then the frog to eat the fly, then the cat to eat frog, well, that’s what Take 2 is like. I can post it here for fun. Shall I? Why not? This is all about learning, right?

Take 2

let me tell you a secret

it’s beautiful like a rose

although filled with regret

you told me a lie

when we stood in the rain

but still I decided to stay

why should I stay

I dream of places so secret

and getting lost in the rain

until the sun’s rose

reveals that lie

you told without regret

I cannot help but regret

the decision I made to stay

even after I knew the lie

that you tried to keep secret

by handing me a rose

all covered with rain

here comes the rain

and it fills me with regret

that I can’t find a single rose

or a real reason to stay

but it’s still a secret

that you told me that lie

don’t we all tell a lie

when we stand in the rain

we keep it a secret

so that we won’t regret

but do we stay

or follow the compass rose

follow the direction of the rose

or choose. Instead. the lie

we never know unless we stay

if it will always rain

and that, I guess, is my regret

after all, it’s not a secret

if you regret the lie you told

come find me in the secret roses

where I stay, living in the rain

Truly awful. Sestina three is slightly better. I chose the words at random. I’m not sure why it’s a murder mystery/ghost story set in South Korea (okay, my fascination with Korean drama and K-pop probably influenced that), but it’s definitely better.

Han River

Meet me by the Han River

where no one looks like me.

But I’ll carry a yellow rose

and you can wear a white coat.

That’s where I can tell my tale

of love long lost and buried.

Meet me where seeds are buried

asleep on the banks of the river.

Are you sure you wish to hear my tale?

it’s really only about me.

There’s no real way to sugarcoat

or exchange my yellow for a red rose.

It’s been a while since I rose

from where they thought I was buried

and stood without dress or coat

at the edge of the Han River.

I’m not sure why you linger with me

just to hear this tired old tale.

They thought I’d never tell the tale

of how I was deceived by his rose

and how they tortured and murdered me,

dug a shallow grave and buried

me there on the frozen banks of the river

where ice had begun to freeze and coat.

I saw a beaver shake water off his coat

and I whispered him my sad tale

before he slipped back into the river.

It was winter then, there was no rose

of any color where I was buried

in this icy wasteland where they left me.

You say you’re only here to help me,

you in your beautiful white coat.

Do you know where the dead are buried?

Do you know how to tell my tale?

But we watched as the sun rose

above the banks of the Han River.

The same river where they buried me…

I can’t pin a rose on your white coat…

My tale ends here where I am buried.

So that’s where I am with sestinas. It is definitely not my favorite form I’ve tried, but it is the most challenging. I didn’t think it could get harder than villanelle, either! Will I continue writing them? Tune in tomorrow to find out. In the meantime:

1 thought on “Day 16: Happy National Poetry Month

  1. Oh my.  I liked all of these.  I finally caught the rhythm and enjoyed th

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