Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A verse form first used by the Provençal troubadours, consisting of six six-line stanzas and a three-line envoy. The end words of the first stanza are repeated in varied order as end words in the other stanzas and also recur in the envoy.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a highly structured poem consisting of six six-line stanzas followed by a tercet or envoy, for a total of thirty-nine lines.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A poem in fixed form, borrowed from the French, and said to have been invented by the Provençal troubadour Arnaut Daniel (thirteenth century).

Etymologies

Italian, from sesto, sixth, from Latin sextus; see s(w)eks in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Italian sestina. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • A sestina is a fixed verse form in which six end-words recur in a set order in six stanzas and a three-line envoi (a coda or postscript).

    2007 March 12 « One-Minute Book Reviews

  • A sestina is a highly organized poem with 6 6-line stanzas.

    Archive 2008-01-01

  • The sestina is a lot like a household as seen by a child.

    Remarks At Millennium Lecture Series

  • The Mona Liza is a sort of riddle, an acrostic, a poetical decoction, a ballade, a rondel, a villanelle or ballade with double burden, a sestina, that is what it is like, a sestina or chant royal.

    Memoirs of My Dead Life

  • Lassus’s older style is not completely absorbed by these novelties, and in a few pieces his earlier madrigals are recalled the sestina Quando il giorno.

    Archive 2009-06-01

  • Poets behave badly, a Famous Poet once wrote to me after I complained about how another poet sent me a flurry of angry emails for rejecting his sestina.

    On leaving the scene

  • The strictures of the sonnet or villanelle or sestina drive you to see what can be done within those strictures.

    INTERVIEW: Alex Irvine

  • You get the feeling that, like the villanelle or sestina, concrete poetry is now something that poets try their hand at as a demonstration of their virtuosity rather than a poetic tactic or affinity.

    Something concrete « Squares of Wheat

  • For example, if, to validate an applied learning competency at the bachelor's level, an institution offered a project description in which a music student is asked to compose a song music and lyrics in the form of classic German leider and drawing on the Renaissance poetic form of a sestina, the assignment would match the competence and serve as valid assessment evidence.

    Lumina sets standards for college degrees

  • This is my first sestina evar, so I will give myself points for it.

    Friday

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