Sestet originates from the Italian phrase sestetto, which means “sixth.” The well-known Italian poet Petrarch become the first to have introduced this poetic form in Italian sonnet. This is the second part of the sonnet, while the first element is called “octave,” and incorporates of eight lines. It has six lines, and also refers to a poem of six lines, or a six-lined stanza in a poem, which may be outstanding from other units by line breaks. Hence, a sestet could also be a whole poem of six lines, or might be a stanza in a poem.
Examples of Sestet in Literature
Example #1: When I Have Fears that I May Cease to Be (By John Keats)/
“And when I feel, truthful creature of an hour!
That I shall by no means appearance upon thee more,
Never have relish in the faery power
Of unreflecting love! — then at the shore
Of the wide international I stand alone, and think
Till Love and Fame to nothingness do sink.”
This sestet is the second a part of Keats’ sonnet, When I Have Fears that I May Cease to Be, wherein he has used classic iambic pentameter. In the first section, the poet has explored his agonizing mixture of desires, and then a flip comes on this section, in which he reverses his thoughts in absolutely unexpected and new directions.
Example #2: A Dream Pang (by means of Robert Frost)
“Not far, however near, I stood and saw it all
Behind low boughs the timber let down outside;
And the candy pang it price me not to call
And tell you that I saw does nonetheless abide,
But ’tis not authentic that consequently I dwelt aloof,
For the wooden wakes, and you are right here for proof.”
This is also the second a part of a sonnet, with a rhyming scheme of CDCDEE. In the sestet, the speaker solves this uncertainty supplied in the previous part, by using witnessing his friend’s presence within the woods while he says, “and you are right here for proof.”
Example #3: Behind Me Dips Eternity (by using Emily Dickinson)
“Behind Me – dips Eternity –
Before Me – Immortality –
Myself – the Term between – …
Before the West begin –”
Usually, poets do no longer appoint truthful six-line stanzas, or sestets, of their work, other than in a strict form of sonnet. In this instance, however, Dickinson opens the poem with a sestet that has the rhyme scheme of AABCCD.
Example #4: The New Colossus (via William Shakespeare)
” ‘Keep, historic lands, your storied pomp!’ cries she
With silent lips. ‘Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled loads yearning to breathe free…
I carry my lamp beside the golden door!’ “
This is a great instance of Italian sestet with rhyme scheme of CDCDCD. This is a stanza break that brings change within the poem by way of using communicate and first man or woman factor of view, which isn't like octave.
Example #5: On His Blindness (through John Milton)
“That murmur, soon replies, ‘God doth now not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts; who best
Bear his moderate yoke, they serve him best …
They also serve who best stand and wait.’ “
This is another famous instance of Italian sonnet, the use of second part as a sestet with a rhyme scheme of CDECDE and metrical sample of iambic pentameter. In the primary element, the speaker tries to bring a silly question and in the second component, a figure named “patience” offers reaction to that question.
Example #6: Annabel Lee (with the aid of Edgar Allan Poe)
“It changed into many and many a 12 months ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you could know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be cherished with the aid of me.”
Most of the stanzas inside the given poem are sestets. Again this poet also starts the poem with sestet by means of the use of a rhyme scheme of ABABCB.
Function of Sestet
The most charming aspect about the structure of a sonnet is that the nature of octave is extra objective. In different words, it is set to present some quandary or a problem. In contrast, the feature of sestet is subjective that solutions or gives response to that trouble presented in octave, finishing the complicated world with fourteen lines. In simple words, sestet is a “turn or volta” in a sonnet that resolves the difficulty presented in the first part, or it offers a brand new angle or a method to an concept. Therefore, it offers marvel and new course to the idea expressed inside the sonnet.
Popular Literary Devices
- Ad Hominem
- Deus Ex Machina
- Double Entendre
- Flash Forward
- Half Rhyme
- Internal Rhyme
- Line Break
- Non Sequitur
- Pathetic Fallacy
- Poetic Justice
- Point of View
- Red Herring
- Tragic Flaw