Sixains and Paint Chips

It’s Friday again. This week has dragged and flown by at the same time. I don’t quite understand it, but that’s how it feels. Anyway, we are into the S section of the poetry dictionary and there were a lot of good choices. I was seriously tempted to ask you all to write a sestina, but decided I didn’t want to work that hard writing one myself. Maybe some other time.

This week I selected the sixain as our poetry form to mix with the paint chips. John Drury defines the sixain as follows:

SIXAIN (six’-ane) A six-line stanza.

Sixains appears most frequently in the stave of six (rhymed ababcc). In a sonnet, a six-line stanza is called a sestet. Other six-line stanzas include the Burns stanza (rhymed aaabab) and the sestina (except for the three-lined envoi)

The [linked] poem by Robert Browning uses an envelope pattern (abccba), working inward and then out. The rhyme sounds in the middle are quite pronounced, while those on the outer edges of each stanza are more faintly heard.

the poetry dictionary, pg. 286.

The Challenge

My challenge to you is to pick one of the rhyme schemes noted in the definition of the sixain and write one or more six-line stanza. I suppose, if you are feeling spunky, you can try your hand at a sestina, but that means you’re committing to seven stanzas, including the three-line envoi.

The paint chip words and phrases you have to work with are mystical, faded denim, lipstick, halo, blush, polished stone, and alpine.

I would like you to use at least one of the paint chips as one of your rhyming words and try to work four or five paint chips into your poem.

If you’re a glutton for punishment, try to write a sestina using six of the seven paint chips as the ending words or phrases required by that complex form. (Note: I will not be doing that, but super bonus points for anyone who does).

My Poem

I’ve decided I want to try Browning’s envelope pattern for my sixain, with either eight or ten syllables per line. I’m not sure which is going to work best until I start writing.

A View of Heaven

Hovering, her halo of polished stone,
Visage blushing red as ruby lipstick.
This heavenly scene deeply mystical.
How can anyone stay atheistical?
This angelic vision makes me homesick,
Longing to praise and worship at God's throne.

Your Turn

Now it’s your turn to pick your rhyme scheme and your paint chips and turn them into a sixain. You can write one stanza or many, it’s up to you. Share your poem in the comments, or post it on your own blog and drop a link in the comments. Please share this prompt with your friends and family. The more sixains the merrier!

I am a Jesus Freak, and I don't care who knows it. I am a wife, mother, sister, aunt, daughter, and friend. My blood family is only part of the larger family of Christ that I belong to. I love to write, especially about my dear Savior.


13 Responses

  1. Just the way it came out…All 7

    Recognizing A True Halo

    She wore Vermillion lipstick and jeans of faded denim
    Polished stone glittered in the sun like a jewel
    A faint blush spread stirred and sweetened the venom
    Deceit seeks its reflection as it mirrors every fool
    The mystery of the mystical is hidden in the practical
    Oxygen depletion in the Alpine is anti-climactical

  2. It is good to be homesick for heaven.



    In faded denim, rosy blush,
    he offers her a polished stone
    from water where the rivers rush.
    She knows that she is not alone.
    In greens and yellow, alpine light,
    Today the festive way is bright.

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