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SESTINA A sestina is a very strictly structured poem of six sestets and a three-line envoi, which summarizes or dedicates the poem. The specific structure of a sestina focuses on the repetition, in all its stanzas, of the same six words at the ends of the lines, with the last word of one stanza becoming the end of the first line in the next, and no word occupying the same number line-end in more than one stanza. The envoi also uses the six stanza end-words (two in each line).
The earliest surviving examples of sestinas were produced by French troubadours, which were ably imitated by Dante and Petrarch. In English literature, the sestina enjoyed brief popularity in the Tudor era. SIR Philip Sidney produced a double sestina, "Ye Goat-herd Gods," in The Old Arcadia, among other examples.
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