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Mona Van Duyn Writing Styles in Memoir

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The sestina is a poetic form that is believed to have been invented in Provence by a poet named Arnaut Daniel. Daniel was a member of Richard Coeur de Lion's court (Richard I, also known as Richard the Lionhearted) and was respected as one of the best troubadours of the time. Following Daniel's use of the sestina, both Dante (1265—1321), author of The Divine Comedy, and Francesco Petrarch (1304—1374), poet and founder of humanism, adapted the form as well.

The word "sestina" comes from the word sesto, which is Italian for sixth. The name of the form is appropriate in that a poem written as a sestina is based on the number 6. In its most traditional form, a sestina includes six stanzas each written with six unrhymed lines followed by a final stanza, called an envoy, with three lines. One of the sestina's unique qualities is its repetition...

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This section contains 405 words
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Poetry for Students
Memoir from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.