Synopses & Reviews
More than 800 years after its invention in medieval France, the sestina survives and thrives in English. A fixed 39-line poetic form with of six stanzas of six lines each, followed by a three- line stanza known as an envoi, tornada, or tercet, the sestina is the one form of poetry that poets from all camps agree can exist in a free verse world. Formalists and avant-gardes love sestinas for their ornate, maddeningly complicated rules of word repetition. For The Incredible Sestinas Anthology, editor Daniel Nester has gathered more than 100 writers-from John Ashbery to David Lehman to Matt Madden and Patricia Smith-to show the sestina in its many incarnations: prose and comic sestinas, collaborative and double sestinas, from masters of the form to brilliant one-off attempts, all to show its evolution and the possibilities of this dynamic form.