A sestina dedicated to my dad



Welcome back, friends!

Today I am sharing a poem I wrote when I was about 16 years old. I wrote it as part of a homework assignment for one of my classes in high school (read more about my boarding school here).

This particular class was taught by Miss Brookes, a teacher who taught several literature and English courses in the school.

One of the things I appreciated about Miss Brookes is that she introduced us to various styles of writing that were totally new to us. In her class, we got lots of practice writing all types of poems. One of these is the sestina. Not sure what a sestina is? Not to worry! Wikipedia’s got us covered 🙂

sestina (Old Occitancledisat [klediˈzat]; also known as sestinesextinesextain) is a fixed verse form consisting of six stanzas of six lines each, normally followed by a three-line envoi. The words that end each line of the first stanza are used as line endings in each of the following stanzas, rotated in a set pattern.

Sestinas have a very strict pattern which follows this structure:

1 2 3 4 5 6
6 1 5 2 4 3
3 6 4 1 2 5
5 3 2 6 1 4
4 5 1 3 6 2
2 4 6 5 3 1
(6 2) (1 4) (5 3)

As I wrote this 17 years ago, I don’t remember a whole lot about my writing process. However, I do remember first looking at the poem’s structure and thinking that it would be an exciting challenge. I can only imagine that it must have been pretty difficult figuring out how to write anything whilst adhering to this super rigid structure.




In any case, the poem I wrote is about my dad. He is someone who taught all of his kids the value of hard work. He embodies real grit, bigtime smarts, and some serious “stick-with-it’ness.” For as long as I can remember, he was up before the sun, and worked grueling hours 6 (sometimes 7) days a week. And at the end of a long day, he had the energy to play chess or checkers with his kids before falling asleep on the couch.

And all these years later, he’s still at it, EXACTLY the same as always! Going strong in his 70’s!

Dad, this one’s for you! 🙂




Entrepreneur, Provider, Disciplinarian; DAD.

He’s known for deep thoughts and great work –

Why does he have the motivation to work so hard?

How does he juggle work and those he loves?

The seconds at the factory do not readily turn to hours,

Nor do the hours flow quickly into a complete day.


Every morning before tackling the long day,

I hear the unique sound of my dad.

The morning has begun with quiet red hours,

But before my father rushes off to work,

He pats us on our backs and reminds us of his love.

I know that washing us grow up must be hard.


He eats a big breakfast to keep him going hard

Dad needs an extra boost to start his working day.

He works like this for honor and for love,

If he didn’t, he wouldn’t be a real dad.

The factory amazes and confuses me; how does it work?

It runs under dad and through every day’s hour.


My dad is tired, but it is not the resting hour.

He must not sleep, although exhaustion tries sohard

To overwhelm him. He must support his family through his work

And work is not limited to light hours of the day.

He’s tired… but wanting more than sleep – to be a good dad,

A father who supports his family with life and love.


He doesn’t show it like how the world thinks of love,

Like expensive presents or a few measly hours.

No, he’s not the typical, everyday dad.

I’m glad he’s not, although accepting this washard.

Maybe I’ll thank him for everything one day

And ask him to teach me his life’s work.


At the end of the day, as he arrives home from work,

He pats our back and declares again, his love.

I can tell from his face that it was a long day,

I can tell it’s been long from the time of the hour.

How does he go on after trying so hard?

I am so lucky to have him as my dad.


Still, he has the strength for checkers at this hour.

He always wins, but he pretends that it is hard.

What a lucky girl I am to have him as my dad.




Have you checked out my other poems? Here is one on tragic love, and another one on scaling a mountain! Need more stories in your life? Here is one about a little cockroach!

Do you know how to play checkers or chess? What was your favorite class in high school or college? (Mine was 9th grade Biology with Mr. Schuit!)




85 thoughts on “A sestina dedicated to my dad

    1. Thanks Maureen! Ooh I liked chemistry too, we had some cool labs and did a few interesting experiments! I hope you have a fabulous day! 😊


  1. Aw wow. I can’t recall anything I did back from school. I have no documentation of it. Sometimes I wonder if I even went to school, ha! I honestly dont really remember too much from back then … There is a story behind that but it would be a novel to write. Cherish all of your past memories!


    1. Aw thanks Gigi! Sometimes it’s hard to pull those memories out and dust them off haha! I appreciate your dropping by, i hope you have an amazing day!


    1. He’s a special one, that’s for sure! Thanks for taking the time to stop by, I appreciate it! I hope you have an amazing day!


  2. I just love this! I was never the greatest at writing poetry but you did an amazing job.

    My favorite class in high school was English and history!


    1. Thank you Amber, i appreciate your lovely compliment! I thought history and English were really interesting too! Thanks for stopping by, have a wonderful day!


  3. Well this is a post where I learned something and enjoyed it in the process. Not having heard of a sestina before, I found this and its structure very interesting. Love your poem. What a great tribute to someone who was/is obviously a wonderful dad.


  4. I wish I still had my writing from when I was a teenager. I would love to be able to read my journal. You Dad sounds like a wonderful man.


  5. i didnt know this kind of writing before and i think u did a great job! im so curious now to know ur dads reaction! u r sweet!


    1. Aw thank you Patricia! That’s sweet of you! He really liked the poem! I so appreciate your stopping by, i hope you have an awesome day!


    1. That’s true, Kelly, its so important to try and appreciate the things parents do for their kids! I appreciate your taking the time to read! I hope you have an amazing day!


  6. Wow! Nice job. You are very talented. And what a great tribute to your dad! I don’t recall learning about sestinas when I was in school. Thanks for sharing!


    1. It’s a pretty cool challenge! I’m sure you’ll come up with something wonderful. Thanks for dropping by, i hope you have a lovely day!


  7. it’s such a wonderful poem. It’s even better that you had such a wonderful dad. It’s motivating me to be a better dad too. Spending more time with my kids and nurturing them.

    My favourite class in school was math because numbers come to me naturally. I guess I will be encouraging my kids to explore what comes naturally to them too.


    1. Aw thank you Leo, i absolutely love the inspiration in your words! I never liked math but i wish i did!! Thanks, i hope you have a lovely day!


    1. Thank you Debby, I appreciate this lovely compliment. Thanks for taking the time to stop by and read, I hope your weekend is amazing!


    1. English was a great class! I wasn’t in the school newspaper but I can imagine it would be a lot of fun too! Thanks for stopping by Lavanda, I hope you are having an amazing weekend!


    1. Aw thank you Jelena, I appreciate this lovely compliment! Thanks for taking the time to stop by and read, I hope you have an amazing weekend!


  8. This poem is actually so beautifully written and something that a lot of us can relate to when we think of our fathers. My dad still works incredibly hard and even on the weekends some times but he never complains about it and just enjoys his time being around family.

    Thanks for sharing the beautiful words!

    Helen xx


    1. that’s so sweet, your dad sounds like a pretty amazing guy too! Thanks for stopping by Helen, i hope you have an amazing day!


  9. Your dad sounds like quite an awesome guy. My dad is the same way. He shows his love through his hard work and what he does for us. We all have our own unique love language. This poem beautifully portrays what his is.


    1. he is a pretty amazing person! and your dad sounds awesome too! thanks so much for stopping by, i appreciate your taking the time to read! i hope you have an amazing day!


  10. I never heard of a sestina poem before, but it does look like an interesting challenge! Your poem was beautiful, your dad seems like an amazing person and great influence on you!


    1. Aw thank you Nicole, he really is pretty awesome! I appreciate your stopping by and reading! I hope you have a wonderful day 🙂


    1. I loved 9th grade biology, it was the best class ever! I took a few art classes and liked them, like watercoloring and in college I took an art class where I learned to stipple (my favorite!). Thanks for stopping by Lucicoo, I hope your day is amazing!


    1. Thank you Karen! Checkers is fun, I haven’t played in a while, but this makes me want to get out the checker board. Thanks for stopping by I hope you enjoy your day!


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