“Sestina for Minnie E. Amerine”


Minnie E. Amerine“Sestina for Minnie E. Amerine”

Desirous to be loved, we seek our own

and when we find it, that is where we leap.

An attic jewel shining mid the dust

and so the mind stirs anxiously to seek

but in its reaching finds a darker door

and in that search may see a deadly scene.

Here’s Minnie Amerine, lost to her scene.

She shares a placid beauty all her own.

But cold, her muted lips a dungeon door

upon her porcelain face no motives leap.

What was her heart’s desire; what did she seek

for one so young now gone to stifling dust?

Will each of us discover, through that dust

an answer to the riddle of life’s scene?

Her eyes would speak of love we all do seek:

acceptance for a corner of our own

before we hear the bell; before we leap

before our life becomes that clos`ed door.

Now gaze upon that face; a cloistered door.

No frown but one brief moment’s smile to dust.

On death, a frozen smile forever leaps

upon the photo of this lovely scene:

Did you once guard a love you called your own

before death’s jealousy sent arms to seek?

While looking in her face, her beauty seeks

to open up another worldly door.

‘Fore time is frozen, I will call my own

before the dust will smother me to dust.

Before I turn from Minnie, leave her scene:

her tragic, early death does make me leap.

And through her mirrored eyes, I scream and leap.

And in her frozen smile, my love still seeks

to know what she was like behind that scene.

Her spirit filled with breath behind closed doors?

Or is our Minnie gone to cosmic dust;

her beauty but a bit of atom’s own?

Now leap upon the face of beauty! Seek!

Hold to that scene where love’s beyond the door.

Remember Minnie’s dust is but our own.

(I have been busy lately tracing my ancestry.  Minnie was born 1893 and died, tragically at age 17 in 1910 after birth of my husband’s father in 1909.)  Was looking for inspiration for a Sestina.  Some say the form is more fun for the writer than the reader. I don’t know about that.  A sestina is a lot of hard work.  I would welcome any help, criticism or comment.  Thanks.

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2 Comments on ““Sestina for Minnie E. Amerine””

  1. tnkerr
    October 8, 2015 at 4:48 pm #

    Not sure how, exactly, to phrase this but I really liked the way this piece seemed to provide it’s own momentum. Does that make any sense at all? I hope so because I’m not sure how else to say it. Really well written.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jacquelinecaseypoetry
      October 8, 2015 at 9:56 pm #

      Thank you, Tnkerr, for the feedback. Yes, your comment makes sense to me, knowing my motivation for writing it in the first place.
      I find it hard to comment on other’s work, but I know if I like or do not like. Just finished reading and studying a Swinburne (double Sestina), “The Complaint of Lisa” and I mean I really took the thing apart and put it back together again before I composed my poem hoping some of his skill might rub off on me, lol.

      Like

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