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Lothlorien Sestina

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The sestina poetic form first surfaced in the early middle ages, and was quite popular for a while, but in my humble opinion, not fully perfected until the mid 20th century by Elizabeth Bishop. I chose to use Bishops format for this piece because it evokes a kind of otherworldly alien feeling that i believe fits the traditional elven concept.

when i originally recited/performed this piece, i used a twig and rainstick for props, but have lost whatever directions went along with those props, so i'm only posting the base sestina here:

Droplets splatter across green leaves,
To the plants’ joy and chagrin of small monkeys.
From their lofty forest shops elves
Rush across woven fiber bridges
To shelter promised by hollow trees.
Gentlemen and ladies alike rained

On, while Ramona’s arrows rain
Down from on high until the enemy leaves
To seek refuge in some hollow. Trees
Grow damp, both great and small. Monkey
Business perpetrated on bridges
By slight children all can see are elves

Goes without notice to the elf
That wears the wizards cloak against the rain.
For him, magic itself is bridge
Enough, for between the worlds he leaves
and goes, he is but a small monkey
Scampering to his hollow trees.

Because all worlds are but hollow trees.
Their master is not man, dwarf nor elf,
No more than birds and beasts or small monkeys.
The nature of a world is its rain
That carves deep valleys and trembles leaves
From its lightest mist to terrible bridge

Breaking hurricane that sways bridges
Threatening their tether to hollow trees
In its joyous wrath untouched it leaves
Its own nature, understood by elves
Alone. They who live and love in rain
And sun let it suffice. Their small monkey

Nature reminds them that small monkeys
Are a part of that whole, a bridge
Solid between each drop of rain,
Each animal, every stout and hollow tree.
The secret truth know to all elves:
A glistening drop on a quivering leaf.

Thundering rain falls through hollow trees,
Damp, small monkeys cling perilously to bridges,
And an elf finds succor embraced beneath the leaves.

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