Friday, January 18, 2013

My Writing: Writing in the Dark (Sestina Poem)

This is a poem I wrote last semester about the written word. In order to challenge myself (because I intentionally like making my life difficult), I chose to write a sestina poem, where the last word of each line is repeated in each stanza but in a different order. It's hard to explain, but once you look at the poem, you'll see what I mean. The hardest part of this type of poem is making the word fit at the end of the sentence in a believable way.

Writing in the Dark
It’s always at the beginning of the night
that his thoughts begin to run wild and words
come more easily, flowing from hand to pen.
He has tried to write in the morning but there is no silence.
There are too many demanding noises, too much bright light
and so it is in darkness that he always writes.
On his brand new computer, the man writes,
his fingers slipping on the yet unused keys in the dark of night.
The shadows are strong this evening, they are stealing the light,
or are they the demons of his past come to haunt his words?
He listens. For something. For anything. But there is only silence.
The man closes his computer and grabs a pen.
Beautifully constructed, trusty, bronze, perfect grip, his pen
has never failed him when he writes.
He likes the sound of pen on paper in the silence.
It seems as if hours have passed in the night,
and still he has not written a single word.
Looking at the clock, it is still several hours ‘til there is light.

His lined notepad glares blankly at him in the dull light.
How long has he been holding this pen?
How long has he been pretending that the words
have been coming to him? That he actually writes?
For months, he has been staring out the window at night,
but it is hard to pretend when alone and in silence.
It is hard to pretend when there is too much silence.
The man has never feared the light,
but now he fears he may run out of night.
His fingers firmly grip his barely-used pen,
hoping to squeeze out any inspiration to write.
All the man wants are beautiful words.
Unexpectedly there’s a spark and they come to him – the words.
The ones he has been waiting for all his life in silence.
The ink flows onto the paper, the sound is soothing. He writes
for once unconcerned about the upcoming daylight.
Nothing can stop the man and his pen.
He knows it will be the first time he writes beyond the night.
As the man writes his precious words,
he no longer fears the night, nor its companion, silence.
He sees himself in a new light: a writer; he is his pen.
Thanks for reading it! I hope you liked it!

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  1. Sara this is awesome! i totally love it!

  2. This poem took me back - I haven't written a sestina for years! I studied poetry while getting my BFA and for the first three years I was really against form poetry, but I started working on it in fourth year and became obsessed. I think the challenge actually makes it more fun, because it's almost like a puzzle. But I also intentionally make my life difficult a lot of the time ;)

    1. I agree! It's the challenge that makes it more fun! Limitations on writing open my mind up more. When there's too many possibilites it's hard to choose what to write about. So glad that there's another sestina lover out there!

  3. That was lovely. You are truly talented.


Hello, beautiful! Thanks for leaving a comment!
Have a lovely day!
~Sara ♥

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