Tag Archives: Rondeau

Rondeau Poetry Prompt

Today’s prompt comes from Frances Mayes’ “The Discovery of Poetry”

Write a a Rondeau:

A Rondeau is a poem consisting of fifteen lines arranged in a quintet (five-line stanza), a quatrain (four-line stanza) and a sestet (six-line stanza). The first few words of the first line act as a refrain in lines 9 and 15. These refrain lines do not rhyme, but repeating the fragments seems to imply the rest of the line, including the rhyme. The rhyme, therefore, acts invisibly. The roundeau’s usual rhyme scheme is aabba, aab Refrain. An eight-syllable line is traditional:

Here’s an example:

DEATH OF A VERMONT FARM WOMAN
(Barbara Howes, 1914-)

It is time now to go away?
July is nearly over; hayt winter lingered; it was May
Fattens the barn, the herds are strong
Our old fields prosper; these long
Green evening will keep death at bay.

Last winter lingered; it was May
Before a flowering lilac spray
Barred cold for ever. I was wrong.
Is it time now?

Six decades vanished in a day!
I bore four sons: one lives; they
Were all good men; three dying young
Was hard on us. I have looked long
For these hills to show me where peace lay . . .
Is it time now?

Share your poem in the comments area below.