Obsession: Sestinas in the Twenty-First Century by Carolyn Beard WhitlowObsession: Sestinas in the Twenty-First Century by Carolyn Beard Whitlow

Obsession: Sestinas in the Twenty-First Century

EditorCarolyn Beard Whitlow, Marilyn Krysl

Paperback | March 4, 2014

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The sestina (of medieval French origin) is a complex poetic form of 39 lines (six sestets and a three-line “envoy”) in which the six end-words (teleutons) of the lines of the first sestet stanza are repeated in a specific order as teleutons in the five succeeding sestets. In the envoy, the six teleutons are again picked up, one of them being buried in, and one finishing, each line.

Because of the complexity of the form, the sestina fell out of favor with poets for several decades. However, a twenty-first century revival of the form is underway. This is the first anthology of sestinas that showcases both traditional and innovative examples of the form by modern and contemporary poets, award winners, and emerging writers alike. Organized by such themes as Americana; Art; Love and Sex; and Memory, Contemplation, Retrospection, and Death, the collection also includes sestinas with irregular teleutons and unconventional sestinas. An evocative introduction by Marilyn Krysl acquaints readers with the form. The volume concludes with useful indexes of first lines and teleutons, increasing access to the poems beyond the poets’ names.
CAROLYN BEARD WHITLOW is the Charles A. Dana Professor of English at Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina. Her poems have been anthologized in over twenty collections and have appeared in the Kenyon Review, Indiana Review, Cold Mountain Review, and many more. MARILYN KRYSL is a poet and short story writer whose work has appea...
Title:Obsession: Sestinas in the Twenty-First CenturyFormat:PaperbackDimensions:168 pages, 9.56 × 6.79 × 0.53 inPublished:March 4, 2014Publisher:Dartmouth College PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:161168529X

ISBN - 13:9781611685299

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Table of Contents

Preface: “I Put a Spell on You,” by Carolyn Beard Whitlow
Introduction: The Sestina as Interlocutor, by Marilyn Krysl
Grace Bauer — A Little Like Dorothy
Alex Cigale — The Paul Bunyan Sestina
Jan Clausen — Pigs Advance as Organ-Transplant Factories for People
Martha Golensky — Presidential Potpourri
George Held — Inauguration (1997) Sestina
A. Van Jordan — Time Reviews the Ziegfeld Follies Featuring Josephine Baker, 1936
Maxine Kumin — In Praise of the New Transfer Station
Florence Cassen Mayers — All-American Sestina
Patricia Monaghan — Loaded
Marilyn Nelson — Keeper of the Keys (1740)
Lucia Perillo — The Van with the Plane
Ada Jill Schneider — Brooklyn, 1941
Murray Silverstein — Sestina to Bind a Goodbye
Alice Teeter — The 103rd Birthday of Emma Regina DeGraffenreid Smith
Tony Trigilio — Jean Hill
LaWanda Walters — Marilyn Monroe
Nagueyalti Warren — Strut
Sherman Alexie — The Business of Fancydancing
Jeanne Marie Beaumont — Nature Morte
Maryann Corbett — The Art Student’s Mother Thinks Out Loud
Barbara Lydecker Crane — The Stone Carver
Rhina P. Espaillat — People in Home Movies
Alicia Ostriker — RVR: Work and Love
Danez Smith — Godfather
Raewyn Alexander — Lightening Storm at Sea
Michele Battiste — No Swimming
Shaindel Beers — Why It Almost Never Ends with Stripping
Dan Bellm — Boy Wearing a Dress
Kate Bernadette Benedict — Tantalizing Sestina
Rafael Campo — Sestina in Red
Melissa Cannon — The Sleeping Beauty
Kelly Cherry — Wintering
Blas Falconer — A Definition of Terms
Jennifer Givhan — Chicken-Hearted
Juliana Gray — Clark Kent Leaves the Optometrist
Eloise Klein Healy — Louganis
Kate Light — Diary Three (Tchaikovsky)
Bruce Meyer — The Lovers’ Sestina
Deborah Miranda — Quickening
Honor Moore — First Time: 1950
Diane Lockward — Why I Read True Crime Books
Gail Storey — Noah’s Sestina for Raven and Dove
David Trinidad — Playing With Dolls
Pramila Venkateswaran — The Art of the Invisible
Diane Wakoski — Sestina from the Home Gardener
Carolyn Beard Whitlow — Book of Ruth
Julia Alvarez — Bilingual Sestina
Herman Beavers — The Relative of Fear
Robin Becker — Sad Sestina
Michael Cantor — The River Children Come of Age
James Cummins — Tiresias
Denise Duhamel — Six-Fingered Sestina
Nausheen Eusuf — Evening
Nola Garrett — Decoration Day
Marilyn Hacker — Towards Autumn
Jeffrey Harrison — Essay on a Recurring Theme
Martha Kalin — Glowing Doors
Marilyn Krysl — Warscape, With Lovers
Austin MacRae — The Organ Builder
Charlotte Mandel — Six
Angela Consolo Mankiewicz — Sestina for Solo Nights
Joan Mazza — It Comes in Waves
Mary Meriam — A Tragedy of Flowers
Joseph Mills — W. S. Merwin Tells a Story During Q & A
Lenard D. Moore — A Quiet Rhythm of Sleep
Alfred Nicol — Clock
Barbara J. Orton — Minds Innocent and Quiet
Marie Ponsot — Half-Life: Copies to All Concerned
Jay Rogoff — Leonine
Patricia Smith — Ethel’s Sestina
Eleanor Swanson — Miami Beach, Moonrise
Lewis Turco — The Obsession
Tim Upperton — Saint Joseph’s Convent, Waipukurau, 1967
Celia Lisset Alvarez — Lizards
Stephanie Thomas Berry — Come
Kathryn Stripling Byer — Sleepless
Mary-Marcia Casoly — Australia Dreaming
Dallas Crow — Diamonds from Mud
Sally Evans — The Feast in the Barn
Julie Fay — Provençal Laundry
Annie Finch — The Bass
Trina Gaynon — Some Stars Are Not Used for Navigation
Laura Hope-Gill — The Book of the House on the Niagara River
Andrew Johnston — The Sounds
Kristin LaTour — Desert Sestina
Mary McCallum — Southern Man
Elise Paschen — The Front Room
Dana Gioia — My Confessional Sestina
Donald Hall — Sestina (“Hang it all, Ezra Pound . . .”)
Maura Stanton — Class Assignment: Thirteen Ways of Looking for a Poem
F. Keith Wahle — How to Write a Sestina
Anne Waldman — How the Sestina Works
Ken Waldman — The Substitute Teaches the Sestina
Catherine Bowman — Mr. X
Lynn Domina — Thursday
Philip Metres — The Iraqi Curator’s PowerPoint
Alan Michael Parker — Bird
Lawrence Schimel — Deleting Names (A Decaying Sestina)
Miller Williams — The Shrinking Lonely Sestina
Nikki Blak — For Black Girls
Shannon Bramer — The Photographer
Ruth Foley — Prayer for the Abandoned
Evie Shockley — clare’s song
Afterword, by Lewis Putnam Turco
Index of First Lines
Index of (Loosely) Metrical and Syllabic Sestinas
Index of Teleutons

Editorial Reviews

“The stamp of a great anthology is the joie de vivre of its editors—and Whitlow and Krysl mark this marvel of a collection with an irreverent sense of fun. From sex to art to politics, the pure zest of these sestinas makes you know they’ll survive like the sonnet, each age appropriating the form for a new existence. And new existences are here, from the stately to the slapdash repetitions of our lives, each poem built on six golden words.” —Molly Peacock, author of Cornucopia and The Second Blush