This sestina was written for Cara and Nate on September 26th, 2013, the day before their wedding. Before reading, here is a tidbit of information about the sestina form:
The sestina is a complex form that achieves its often spectacular effects through intricate repetition. The thirty-nine-line form is attributed to Arnaut Daniel, the Provencal troubadour of the twelfth century. The name “troubadour” likely comes from trobar, which means “to invent or compose verse.” The troubadours sang their verses accompanied by music and were quite competitive, each trying to top the next in wit, as well as complexity and difficulty of style.
Courtly love often was the theme of the troubadours, and this emphasis continued as the sestina migrated to Italy, where Dante and Petrarch practiced the form with great reverence for Daniel, who, as Petrarch said, was “the first among all others, great master of love.” http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/5792#sthash.71bPt4mm.dpuf
“A toast to you in sestina form I’ll write”
September 26, 2013
A toast to you in sestina form I’ll write—
It seems a fitting way to tell of love.
For like a marriage, you must commit
and find a way to marry the words together,
like joining of names, from Rowe to Hoch,
soon Mr. and Mrs. forever.
Companionship you’ll share forever,
over cups of tea as Cara writes
while Nate enjoys the latest match of hockey
or Modern Family. And in their lovely
living room, college friends will gather,
to celebrate their marriage and commitment
to each other. Now think, before committing,
you’ll be stuck with her forever,
together at every gathering,
every day he’ll be there, right
beside you, and she your love,
always there, watching like a hawk.
I kid! I kid! Now future Hochs,
don’t look at me that way. You must commit!
You must, you must for I tell you love
is true, when couples could spend forever
watching King Arthur as you do. Together
you make a perfect couple, right
in all the right ways. So to the right
and to the left the Rowes and Hochs
are joined, a new family coming together
to bless the couple and wish them forever.
Tomorrow when the two commit,
in sickness or health, good or bad, their love
will warm our own hearts. I love
you both and am honored to write
a poem for your special day. And I commit
to not tripping tomorrow, though I may hock
up some tears. You are my friends forever
and I’m overjoyed that you are together.
In short, Cara and Nate, Mr. and Mrs. Right, Mr. and Mrs. Hoch, Nara—however, we may say it—
I wish you love, commitment, and happiness together forever.
Enjoy your wedding day!