A sestina is a strictly patterned poem consisting of six six-line stanzas and a final triplet. It will take you a while to write a sestina for English class — you'd better start writing!

The form of a sestina is so complicated it can feel like a math problem to compose one. Sestinas have a total of 39 lines — six six-line stanzas followed by a three-line envoi, or brief stanza. The last word of every line is repeated in a specific pattern, so the six words are rotated through the endings of every single line. The earliest sestinas were composed in the medieval language of Occitan, during the 12th century.

Definitions of sestina
  1. noun
    a poem comprised of six sestets and a final tercet and in which the end words of each line recur in each stanza in rotating order
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    type of:
    poem, verse form
    a composition written in metrical feet forming rhythmical lines
Word Family
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