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October 23, 2009
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I am insane. In haunted house alone
I wander. Silent, patient... and I wait.
I wish that someone came and shared my pain.
And who am I? Some entity unknown?
I think... I think complexion mine is white,
I am quite sure I like the sound of rain.

The silver scatter sound... oh yes, the rain.
I cannot count the times I've stood alone
The world around me rain-bleached pure and white.
But why I stand? For whom I always wait?
What is my present? What my past? Not known.
And so I am in numb and tiring pain.

It is familiar now... I was in pain
Some time before but never knew I rain...
Still water, though, yes, that for me is known.
I think forever have I been alone.
I am so sick of shadows, always wait,
I wait in lonesome tower, clad in white.

It never was my favourite colour... white...
For some or other reason it means pain.
But who was I? This knowledge still I wait
When sitting by the window, staring rain.
Some curse is cast upon me. All alone
I stay, and why? The reason is not known.

I know just nothing. All for me not known.
Perchance my face is now plain anger white.
Alone in body, also mind alone
Soon someone will be feeling punish. Pain
For them but for my ragged nerves soft rain.
A purpose. One with answers now I wait.

Now here I stand with meaning. Him I wait.
His true identity is not so known
But he will come when this time ceases rain.
He will be looking in my eyes pearl white
And feel the same as I. Desertion pain
And then he will be dying all alone.

I am the ghost in white and here I wait.
My heart in dark, alone, some thing not known,
I am your maid of pain who stands in rain.
I wouldn't go near the haunted house if I were a certain 'Tirra-lirra'-singing knight...

I realized this was inspired by Tennyson's 'Lady of Shalott' and Emilie Autumn's 'Shalott' when I was deep into the sestina, and then it was too late to turn back.

My entry for Sestina-ween. Do I get cookies for iambic pentameter and not cheating with the end words? I certainly hope so. :)

Comments and critique appreciated.
:iconleurindal:
(I had written a long elaborate comment on this one, but it got lost due to Internet connection problems. So, here we go again :))

First of all: well done for braving the sestina AND using iambic pentameter. It's a very admirable effort and it does earn you cookies :)

I have two main points of critique on this piece:
1. grammar. I think that, in order to accomodate the iambic pentameter, your articulation was often compromised
e.g. 'Him I wait' (should be 'For him I wait'/'Him I await' )
'But why I stand?' ('But why stand I'/'But why do I stand?' )
these grammatical inaccuracies tend to make reading the poem somewhat awkward, in my opinion.

2. development. Unlike 'The Lady of Shalott', in which there's a clear development - from an aerial view of Shalott and Camelot to a detailed focus of the Lady and Lancelot and then onto the narrative itself, this poem tends to feature long bouts of introspection with very little action actually going on. This tends to make the poem somewhat pedantic, which is a pity, considering the beautiful language with which you write.

I think that, if you were to focus more on trying to refine the grammar and give the poem a twist, a sort of change which would respark interest, this poem would improve dramatically.

One last point about this sestina, in the context of the contest, is that I'm not sure how relevant it is to Halloween. The only link I can detect is the archetypal 'haunted manor house' image, but I'm not sure that this alone can encapsulate in any way the spirit of Halloween.

I'd like to re-emphasize my admiration for your use of iambic pentameter. Lovely! :heart:

I look forward to reading more of your work! Keep up the great writing! :)
Reply
:iconelestra:
Thank you. :)

I'm afraid I have become a meter geek, neglecting grammar for the sake of rhytm. I'll try to sound less meter-nerdy in my next poems.

In the beginning I wanted to write about a ghost thinking about something and getting more and more angered, since I am not really into the mainstream gore of the halloween. The fact that she was dead Lady of Shalott occurred to me in third stanza. :)

I'm not quite sure if I rewrite this one... perhaps I take the same subject and write another poem about it.
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:iconleurindal:
you can do both - try to rewrite this one, and write another poem too :)
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