Monday, October 07, 2013

Monday Poetry Stretch - Rondel/Roundel

A rondel is a variation of the roundeau. In the book A Kick in the Head: An Everyday Guide to Poetic Forms, Paul Janeczko calls it a roundel and defines it this way.
A roundel is a three-stanza poem of 11 lines. The stanzas have four, three, and four lines in them and a rhyme scheme of abab bab abab. Ah, but there's more. Line 4 is repeated as line 11 -- not an easy trick!
The roundel in the book, entitled A Silver Trapeze, was written by Alice Schertle, a woman who once said "Writing poetry is difficult, absorbing, frustrating, satisfying, maddening, intriguing – and I love all of it!" I am so with her!

Here is a roundel about a roundel.

The Roundel
By Algernon Charles Swinburne

A roundel is wrought as a ring or a starbright sphere,
With craft of delight and with cunning of sound unsought,
That the heart of the hearer may smile if to pleasure his ear
A roundel is wrought.

Its jewel of music is carven of all or of aught--
Love, laughter, or mourning--remembrance of rapture or fear--
That fancy may fashion to hang in the ear of thought.

As a bird's quick song runs round, and the hearts in us hear
Pause answer to pause, and again the same strain caught,
So moves the device whence, round as a pearl or tear,
A roundel is wrought.
Will you join me this week in writing a roundel? Please share a link to your poem or the poem itself in the comments.


  1. Hard to write but fun to do. Enjoy!

    All day long I’ve been out of my mind
    My stomach is barren, my stomach is yearning,
    Someone, please help me I’m in sort of a bind –
    Starvation doesn’t help ones learning.

    I fidget around tossing, turning,
    These hunger pangs are most unkind,
    My metabolism never stops burning.

    If I get lucky maybe I’ll find
    Some food in my locker to stop this churning,
    Yet I’m stuck in this class, I feel so confined
    Starvation doesn’t help ones learning.

    (c) Charles Waters 2013 all rights reserved.

  2. October

    Small boats splash the cool air,
    riding low and gliding high—
    leaves are falling everywhere.
    October has a bright blue sky.

    Stalks of corn grow brown and dry,
    a pumpkin practices his glare,
    a crew of geese goes rowing by.

    The days are perfect, crisp and fair.
    Leaves shine gold before they fly.
    Soon the branches will be bare.
    October has a bright blue sky.

    —Kate Coombs, 2013
    all rights reserved