What is a Sestet?
Definition of Sestet
Sestet can be defined as,
“A poem or stanza containing six lines”
“A group of six lines of poetry, especially the last six lines of a Petrarchan sonnet”.
A sestet poem normally follows the rhyming scheme abcabc however this is not mandatory for all sestet poetry. Italian sonnets from the early periods, and in particular those of Dante, often follows the rhyming scheme abccba.
History and Origin
Sestet has been derived from Italian sestetto, from sesto sixth, from Latin sextus, from sex six. The sestet form of poetry was first introduced by the Italian poet, Petrarch.
Sestet Poem Examples
So answerest thou; but why not rather say:
Hath man no second life? – Pitch this one high!
Sits there no judge in Heaven, our sin to see? –
More strictly, then, the inward judge obey!
Was Christ a man like us? Ah! let us try
If we then, too, can be such men as he!
-The Better Part
Additional examples of sestet form of poetry can be found in Gray’s famous sonnet On the Death of Richard West