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Sestina: The Secret Keepers

Updated on August 28, 2010

Author's Note

I wrote this sestina about two years ago. It was actually written as a school assignment, but I've always liked it. Or parts of it, at least. At any rate, the assignment was to write a reflection on nature after reading Henry David Thoreau's "On Walden Pond" in any format we chose. I decided to write a sestina. I like the form and felt that it would fit something like this, although I admit that I am not a huge fan of Thoreau. The assignment was fun, however. Hope you enjoy the poem that came about as a result.

One last thing to say is that I seem to be a fan of the idea of the stars being hidden and the need to free them from some sort of prison. It was a theme in the first sestina I published on Hubpages, "Loss of an Angel." I am apparently none too fond of cloudy nights.

Feedback is welcome and very much appreciated.

The Secret Keepers

I am afraid I’ve been rather sad as of late,

Ever since some dreams sailed out of my grasp

And alone I faced a set of winds so cruel and icy.

Dark winds carried armies that hid my friends,

That locked them away in forbidden secrecy.

I long to gaze again upon the midnight stars.

I’ve trusted to the shining, glittering stars

Dreams that haunt my sleep in hours late,

Entrusted to them my most sacred secrets.

My faith is in the stars who rest beyond the grasp

Of slinking enemies and pretending friends

Who seek what lies hidden beyond the dusted ice.

On dark nights that feel as still and cold as ice,

I enter my sub-rosa meetings with the stars.

I have no enemies among them, only friends,

And can trust to them my thoughts of late.

The seeking hands of enemies fail to grasp

Entrusted keepers and steal from them my secrets.

Alas, rolling armies have stolen into secrecy

The dusted black velvet design of white ice.

A line of shields hides beyond wielders’ grasps

The silver-spotted sea of my beloved stars.

I hope to see unleashed a wind of hours late

That will release from the dark prison my friends.

How I long to see again my shining friends.

Too long it’s been since I have shared my secrets,

Painted my dreams upon the sky during late

Hours of the night with a brush of crystal ice.

How I miss gazing at the bright midnight stars

Suspended in infinity, dreams tightly grasped.

I wish to release from the smothering grasp

Of the rolling army my dear, trusted friends.

But dark clouds cast heavy shadows and keep stars

Locked away as they try to steal dreams and secrets.

They are brave ones, the beings of dusted ice.

They fight, knowing freedom never arrives too late.

From choking grasps, they shall be freed in hours late.

I love my friends, the midnight pinpricks of white ice.

I trust the stars, and no one else, to keep my secrets.

-- written by Kristen Salustro

A Brief Note on Sestinas

A sestina is a poem comprised of six six-line stanzas followed by a tercet, making for 7 stanzas and 39 lines total. The same six words end the lines of the six-line stanzas, but in a different order each time. The tercet contains all six end words, but only three are used to end the lines of the tercet. If the sestina's end words were represented by the letters A, B, C, D, E, and F, they would follow this pattern in the six-line stanzas and the tercet:

6-line stanza 1: ABCDEF

6-line stanza 2: FAEBDC

6-line stanza 3: CFDABE

6-line stanza 4: ECBFAD

6-line stanza 5: DEACFB

6-line stanza 6: BDFECA

Tercet line 1: contains B, ends in E

Tercet line 2: contains D, ends in C

Tercet line 3: contains F, ends in A


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    • krissalus profile image

      krissalus 7 years ago

      Thanks, Wendy!

    • profile image

      Wendy Rogers 7 years ago

      This was an extremely beautiful poem! Great job!


    • krissalus profile image

      krissalus 7 years ago

      Thank you, Peter! I'm really glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading!

    • Peter Allison profile image

      Peter Allison 7 years ago from Alameda, CA

      I really like this poem. The pace and repitition are powerful and conjured up a lot of beautiful, mystical imagery for me.