sestina

[se-stee-nuh]
noun, plural sestinas, sestine [se-stee-ney] . Prosody.
a poem of six six-line stanzas and a three-line envoy, originally without rhyme, in which each stanza repeats the end words of the lines of the first stanza, but in different order, the envoy using the six words again, three in the middle of the lines and three at the end.
Also called sextain.


Origin:
1580–90; < Italian, equivalent to sest(o) (< Latin sextus sixth) + -ina -ine2

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sestina (sɛˈstiːnə)
 
n
Also called: sextain an elaborate verse form of Italian origin, normally unrhymed, consisting of six stanzas of six lines each and a concluding tercet. The six final words of the lines in the first stanza are repeated in a different order in each of the remaining five stanzas and also in the concluding tercet
 
[C19: from Italian, from sesto sixth, from Latin sextus]

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

sestina
1838, from It., "poem of six-lined stanzas," from sesto "sixth," from L. sextus (see six). Invented by 12c. Prov. troubadour Arnaut Daniel. The line endings of the first stanza are repeated in different order in the rest, and in an envoi.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

sestina

elaborate verse form employed by medieval Provencal and Italian, and occasional modern, poets. It consists, in its pure medieval form, of six stanzas of blank verse, each of six lines-hence the name. The final words of the first stanza appear in varied order in the other five, the order used by the Provencals being: abcdef, faebdc, cfdabe, ecbfad, deacfb, bdfeca. Following these was a stanza of three lines, in which the six key words were repeated in the middle and at the end of the lines, summarizing the poem or dedicating it to some person

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
The conventions of a dictionary are as formal as those of a sestina, a minuet, or the architectural orders.
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