14 November 2013

Lost: A Sestina

Lost in a river of sorrow,
with lifeless songs,
she rows her boat,
no hope for tomorrow,
or soul mate to whom she belongs,
endlessly gazing, she floats.

Along with wave of unrequited emotion she floats,
she knows not of happiness but of sorrow,
a heart full of remorse, to her belongs,
singing painful songs,
without anyone to listen today or tomorrow,
just she and her boat.

Her boat,
in a river floats,
an unending quest of tomorrow,
today filled with sorrow,
unheard songs,
to no one she belongs.

She wonders where is the one to whom she belongs,
will she ever find an anchor for her life’s boat,
will anyone ever listen to her songs,
will she ever find happiness that floats,
her heart cries of sorrow,
has lost all hope for tomorrow.
Sun will shine tomorrow,
to the azure sky it belongs,
it knows nothing of her sorrow,
or her boat,
that directionless floats,
with sad songs.

Winds carry her songs,
someone might listen to them today or tomorrow,
someone might see her, as she floats,
someone might be there to whom she belongs,
she might find an anchor for her life’s boat,
and an end to her sorrow.

She finds a heart that listens to her songs and to whom she belongs,
today or tomorrow, now she has an anchor for her boat,
in a love filled direction her boat floats, in a river with no sorrow.

A sestina contains a grand total of seven stanzas - the first six containing six lines each, and the final stanza called an 'envoy') with three. All of the first six stanzas use the same six line-ending words, arranged in a different order each time the overall pattern of ending words for the first six stanzas is:
The ending word pattern for it is 5-3-1,
 but the other three ending words must be used in the middle of the lines:


  1. very nice story telling through form...i feel her longing....i particularly like when she finds the one who listens to her songs....

  2. I like the hopeful ending. And I admire you very much for doing a sestina. I think they are very difficult and yours is so good

  3. very good and beautifully written...i have always Loved that Waterhouse painting :)

  4. Such a flowing poem, interesting style you've picked....nice painting too.

  5. It is an intriguing form, and you've chosen your topic well. Beautiful!

  6. i like the unhurried pace of the lines that end in a positive note...

  7. You managed the intricate form very well and the repeated words reinforced the theme of the poem to perfection. And it has a happy ending. Yay!

  8. It certainly is an intriguing form that you managed so well. I love the movement through despair to hope. Lovely write.

  9. Always enjoy reading your comments on my poetry blog, Vandana. Thank you for visiting. The Lady of Shalott poem by Tennyson and the incredible John William Waterhouse painting (illustrated here) appear to have provided both of us with poetic inspiration. (Well, both pieces are the stuff of pretty incredible creative synergy – wonderful masterpieces!) Loved the way that you worked The Lady’s songs into your poem. (I couldn’t quite seem to get that working.) She was, indeed, lost and certainly in an impossible place. You captured that well - and in a sestina, no less.


Thank you for flying by. I appreciate your honest and critical comments.