Thursday, February 14, 2013

What Is a Pentatina?

Today's post features a bit of irony.  The pentatina is not a "real" form of  poetry.  The sestina, featuring six stanzas of six lines apiece and one three line stanza, has been around since the 12th century, but in Poetry magazine in October 2012, Campbell McGrath published a humorous twist on the form: Pentatina for Five Vowels.  Each stanza features a rhyme based on a different vowel. Eighth grade students read and studied the patterns within this poem, then teamed up to imitate the form, and the three boys published below did so with a much more serious tone.  Look for another Pentatina coming soon!


Life is a debt with death you must pay,

Death is the light that leads you astray,

Light is the force to push darkness away,

Out of the darkness and into the gray,

And gray is the place life finds its way,


Life will die almost instantly,

When death squelches light that used to be,

When the light is gone, darkness runs free,

The dark of the gray that will always be,

And into the gray life hopes to flee,


The life of the world will eventually die,

Death, a distraction from the light of the sky,

Light flows to dark and lets out a cry,

The greatest dark in gray is a lie,

And gray and life in an eternal tie,


From life to death a person will flow,

Death leads to light that no one shall know,

In the absence of light darkness does grow,

With darkness to gray there is no glow,

Gray is to life, as dove is to crow,


Life and death are stuck in the glue,

From death alone the light will imbue,

When light turns to dark it loses its hue,

From darkness to gray no one has a clue,

And gray to the life you never knew.
by Noah D. , Jonathan X., and Gregory H. -- Grade 8

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