price paid for paradise


A man is wed to land as dear as wife
and for his farm he‘ll gladly sacrifice
what is his livelihood becomes his life
such dedication keeps away most vice
invested time gives meaning in the strife
as he creates his own small paradise

reflection of first garden paradise
tilling the land together, man and wife
completely innocent of hate or strife
man gladly gave his rib, small sacrifice
but snake twisted the truth of God’s advice
eating forbidden fruit embittered life

to work in sweat would be man’s lot in life
rebellion led them out of paradise
their eyes opened to every evil vice
still-birth of sin brought pain to Adam’s wife
to cover shame requires blood sacrifice
our fall brought all creation death and strife

seeds of weed, thistle, and thorn now rife
disease and aging process shortens life
to bear children demands self-sacrifice
we cannot find way back to paradise
now shame’s dark secrets divide man and wife
our world is broken by our greed and vice

the Enemy holds captives in sin’s vise
conquers the world with anger, fear, and strife
cools the love between each man and wife
our stubborn pride leads miserable life
the only way to restore paradise
would be a perfect human sacrifice

God’s Son offered himself as sacrifice
divine and human free of any vice
for Christ alone can restore paradise
and put an end to all our sin and strife
if choose to follow him, we find true life
he loves the church as his own precious wife

to work the land ‘mid sacrifice and strife
farmer’s advice says his is still best life
earth’s paradise shared with beloved wife


This sestina surprised me by turning theological…I think it was the repeating/rhyming word choices I made that lent itself to themes of creation/fall/redemption/restoration. A sestina has six stanzas of six lines followed by a 3-line envoi each with a complicated pattern of final words repeated. This challenging form is described in detail by our host Victoria at d’Verse Poets.

22 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. navasolanature
    Sep 05, 2019 @ 10:47:29

    I wondered where the poem was going but certainly accentuates the hard toil of farming and having to till the land after Eden. It develops so well in this form as as a reminder of our connection to the soil and the idea of sacrifice and desire for paradise.


  2. robtkistner
    Sep 01, 2019 @ 13:29:43

    Well done with your sestina Lynn.


  3. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Aug 29, 2019 @ 14:13:00

    I love how you turned the beginning into the reminder of what paradise could have been… and how we have created the world that we live in… great use of the form


  4. Rosemary Nissen-Wade
    Aug 25, 2019 @ 00:29:42

    Beautifully summed up!


  5. memadtwo
    Aug 20, 2019 @ 11:54:18

    You have told your story well. (K)


  6. Colin Lee
    Aug 19, 2019 @ 04:20:05

    This is … wow. A neat summary of the Bible, written with solid conviction and crystal clarity. Gotta frame it. 😉


  7. Grace
    Aug 18, 2019 @ 20:38:38

    You have written this as a dediction of the farmer’s life to the land. The biblical turn is inspiring and leads hime once more to the church and his wife.

    Thanks for joining our sestina challenge. Indeed a challenging poetry form.


    • lynn__
      Aug 19, 2019 @ 04:40:27

      Thank you for reading and commenting, Grace. First the garden, and later God gave each Israelite family a piece of land. We are tied to it!


  8. msjadeli
    Aug 17, 2019 @ 23:03:17

    Lynn your sestina flows smoothly and tells a very clear story, “the” story, so well.


  9. Victoria C. Slotto
    Aug 17, 2019 @ 20:15:33

    I loved how it became Biblical, but also how well you worked with both rhyme and meter. It flowed so smoothly. One of the things I love about this form is how many times it has delivered surprizes to me. You tempt me to write a biblical sestina now. I also love how you worked your farming lifestyle into it…what a wonderful “vocation.”


  10. David C Brown
    Aug 17, 2019 @ 15:53:31

    Great effort; and a discovery for you as well as for us!


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