The Sestina: An Exploration of the Dynamics of Poetic Structure

@article{Spanos1978TheSA,
  title={The Sestina: An Exploration of the Dynamics of Poetic Structure},
  author={Margaret Spanos},
  journal={Speculum},
  year={1978},
  volume={53},
  pages={545 - 557}
}
THE sestina has been condemned by modern critics as a sterile and artificial form, for being, as De Sanctis so devastatingly comments, "in tanta povert'a e servilitai cosi affettata e pretensiosa."' Yet the form enjoyed undoubted prestige in the Renaissance, largely because its "pretensions" were taken seriously by Dante and Petrarch. Perhaps, in the light of its early literary fortunes, the sestina should now be examined from a more sympathetic point of view in an attempt to rediscover… 
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