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Submitted on
October 18, 2009
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WHEN vaunted skies were torn asunder,
vast mountains stood with faces grave,
then thunder rolled in waves so shrill
fast became their frightened eyes.
Surge thus from moste despairing dungeon:
emerge, you foul-perilous fiend.

Feet canker-ridden, this grotesque fiend
(whose flesh hung, 'twas shred asunder)
beat his chest; limping from dank dungeon
muse in his arms.  Features grave,
pale as frost, and see her vacant eyes
rail at death – had she once screamed shrill?

Stately castle echoed weeping shrill…
but who may say?  Odious fiend,
greatly quiv'ring body, his eyes
cut at each edge.  Asunder
were the stepping stones, a pit-like grave –
stir did his thoughts.  Leaving dungeon,

so on he went – that long-passed dungeon –
and rose to where the winds were shrill,
banned was the use of darkened grave!
O, up battlements, the fiend
thought of his dear late king.  Asunder,
brought apart by loss; when fiends' eyes

grieve, it is a sight.  Such saddened eyes!
savage aches of rotting dungeon,
ravage-raving bones.  Ripped asunder,
believe this: the master's shrill
crying with him still.  Now high, the fiend
sighing approached appointed grave.

One final command, "An open grave."
Love of service marked dying eyes:
above his head, the wretchéd fiend
spun to raise her form.  Dungeon
far behind, he flung.  Her shrieking shrill,
scar of her lungs, tore asunder.

She had her grave. No longer asunder
were the lost pair. With eyes that did not shriek,
the loyal fiend returned to the dungeon.
Written for ^fllnthblnk’s Sestina contest. [link]

This. Was. Work.
Doesn’t help that I decided to make it more difficult for myself :lol: There’s a rhyme scheme in there. And a set syllable count. And polyptoton. But let’s not go into that :XD:

I chose to write a Horror-inspired sestina. So, to give an overview of the story:

There’s a fiend whose late master gave him one final command: “Give my love an open grave.” Basically, the woman - his “muse" - was rotting away in a dungeon and the dude thought that, at least in death, she should be somewhere in the open. (I know… cheery.) So the fiend goes down to the dungeon, picks up the dead woman, and starts going back up to the top of the castle. At one point, he considers just chucking her in a random hole, but he’s a very loyal fiend. So he gets to the top of a tower and lobs her off, at which point, a scream that’s been in her lungs for years finally escapes. And Mr Fiend returns to the dungeon.

^^ I tried to use a more archaic tone for this one… (blame the Metaphysical poets and the Romantics ;)). Anyway. Huzzah for sestinas! The first proper one I wrote! (since the others didn’t actually meet the proper requirements T-T)

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I love this work. The archaic language is very evocative, and your diction is very bardesque.
Wow, thank you so much. It took a lot of editing to get it this way, but I'm glad I spend time on it. :)
I can assure you that it is not wasted time indeed.
3fukutaicho Dec 17, 2009  Student Traditional Artist
Wow... I don't really get what Sestina archaic means, but did you have to do something where you have to use some words in every stanza? Like 'shrill' and 'asunder' and 'fiend' and 'dungeon'?
Yeah~ sestinas are a really complex form of poetry.
Basically, you get 6 stanzas which are all 6 lines, and a tercet, or envoy, that's 3 lines long.
You have to repeat the same words at the end of every line for each of the 6 stanzas, but they have to be in a specific order every single time. And then you re-use those 6 words in your tercet. :XD:

And the 'archaic' part is just the kind of old-fashioned langauge I was trying to use. :D
:hug: Thank you!
3fukutaicho Dec 20, 2009  Student Traditional Artist
wow, that's hard. ^^;
'Tis rather ^^; I messed up on my first few, so this is the first sestina I've done properly.
3fukutaicho Dec 21, 2009  Student Traditional Artist
lol well, good work on this achievement. :D
wow, you are really good with a english words =D
Aaaw thank you~ :hug:
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