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              Miller Williams (1930- )

        The Shrinking Lonesome Sestina

First Line: Somewhere in everyone's head something points toward home,

This poem is protected by copyright and cannot be displayed without permission of the copyright holder. The Shrinking Lonesome Sestina appeared in the collection From Some Jazz a While: Collected Poems. It can also be found, for example, in:

  • Strand, Mark, and Eavan Boland, eds. The Making of a Poem: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2000.

    The Sestina was invented by the Provençal troubadour Arnaut Daniel in the late twelfth century. It consists of six stanzas of six lines, and a final three line stanza. The words that end the lines of the first stanza also end the lines of the next five with the pattern: abcdef, faebdc, cfdabe, ecbfad, deacfb, bdfeca. These words also occur at the middle and ends of the last three lines.