The iron kettle sings on the stove. hovers above the old grandmother It's time for tea now; but the child In the failing light, the old grandmother Is watching the teakettle's small hard tears hovers half open above the child, The grandmother cannot rise out of her mourning, while the child continually draws houses and wonders about the man with buttons. And a winding pathway. Tracing the basic “plot” of the poem, we see the grandmother turn to more practical affairs like adding more wood to the stove and preparing the tea in the kettle. Check out student sestinas produced in McSweeney Publications’ workshops. Hangs up the clever almanac Upon reading this poem the first time, I found it merely intriguing, but it wasn’t until I read through it again that I began to feel the sadness underlying the grandmother’s actions. The poem revolves around the differences in emotion between the grandmother and the child. There will be no sigh of relief on Nov. 3. It consists of six six-line stanzas and a final three-line stanza. Readers can infer that this man was important to the grandmother, and she is trying to hide her unresolved grief from her grandchild, probably to preserve the child’s bright and curious outlook on the world. She thinks that her equinoctial tears and the rain that beats on the roof of the house She thinks that her equinoctial tears A sestina is a very strict form of poetry. However she is continually drawn back toward the child who draws a picture of a man for her. In the failing light, the old grandmother She shivers and says she thinks the house But only known to a grandmother. The six words repeated in each stanza are “house,” “grandmother,” “child,” “stove,” “almanac,” and “tears,” and these repeated words and resulting circular imagery in “Sestina” seem to be at its heart in developing the comparison between the two characters. sits in the kitchen with the child Birdlike, the almanac Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896, Reading is a powerful tool for self-actualization, Hear ye, holiday travelers: Some lesser-known tips as your journeys commence, Justice Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation is the Democrats’ biggest failure, When life gives you apples, make apple pie, CovidSMS seeks to address the digital divide. It lays the grandmother’s pain and grief next to the child’s curiosity and naivety. beside the Little Marvel Stove, hangs up the clever almanac Reading the jokes from the almanac, and the rain that beats on the roof of the house and the child draws another inscrutable house. The grandmother sings to the marvelous stove And the child draws another inscrutable house. September rain falls on the house. dance like mad on the hot black stove, from between the pages of the almanac In fact it’s implied that the root of the grandmother’s sadness is represented in the child’s drawing of “a man with buttons like tears.” Although the grandmother’s reaction to her grandchild’s drawing isn’t explicitly stated, the next stanza details “little moons [that] fall down like tears / from between the pages of the almanac.”. I appreciate that this sestina, like all good poems, offers readers a deeper meaning than its literal presentation on the page and that it accomplishes this feat by embracing and taking advantage of its structural format rather than succumbing to its limitations.
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