S - Setina


The Setina is the form that I struggled with the most.  First off, I found I needed to make a chart to keep the words straight!  Then, I misread the rules and only had 5 stanzas with all 6 words, instead of 6 and had to make a new chart to figure it all out!  It sounds straightforward, and it really is, but you will need be careful!

Pick any 6 words (read the rest of the rules first, you don't want to be "stuck" with "sucky" words)

6 words

Rotate them as end words in 6 stanzas


a last stanza of three lines, using 2 words per line

My words were breeze, scent, mountain, air, herbs, and cooling.  I'll tell you, by the time I was done writing it, I was sick to death of those mountain breezes and cooling herbs!  Too much repetition for my taste.  If you see an error, don't tell me.   

The theme of the poem works well for today being Earth Day.


Breeze from the Mountain

I lift my face to feel the breeze 

that blows down from the mountain,

bringing with it the scent

of many herbs,

perfuming the air

with a peaceful cooling.


High on the mountain

the stream water is cooling

in the hot summer air.

In the breeze

I gather herbs,

breathing in their scent.


I gather these herbs

when the morning air

is still cooling.

The valley and the mountain

are ripe with scent

carried on the breeze.


I breathe in this air

and feel the breeze

on this mountain

with the fragrant scent.

But the day is cooling

and I must pick these herbs.


All night my home carries the scent

of these fresh wild herbs.

A restful soothing breeze,

peaceful and cooling,

blows in from the mountain

to refresh the air.


As the room is cooling 

I wonder... is the scent

of my herbs

on this very air

or still on the breeze

high on the mountain?


In my dreams, the cooling waters of the stream and the scent

of the wild herbs on the air

carry me on the breeze once again up the mountain.


©2021 Lisa Smith Nelson. All Rights Reserved


  1. I've written a couple of sestinas and really enjoyed them. It's fun to figure out how to use the words in a variety of different ways. I think yours came out beautifully.
    Black and White: W for Workshop

    1. Ha! Fun? I'm glad you had fun, I didn't care for it! Thank you for the compliment on mine.


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