The rondeau is a syllabic French construct of three verses: a quintet, quatrain, and sestet. The lines are in two lengths, the main length and the refrain. The refrain is the first few words of the first line.
1. The form is created from three stanzas. A quintet, a quatrain and a sestet.
2. The first half of the first line in the quintet forms a refrain line. This refrain is used for lines 9 and 15.
3. The quintet has a rhyme scheme of b-b-c-c-b.
4. The quatrain has a rhyme scheme of b-b-c-A, where A is the refrain drawn from the first half of the first line of the poem.
5. The sestet is rhymed b-b-c-c-b-A, where A is again the refrain line.
6. Being a French form the meter is accentual syllabic.
The refrain line is usually 4 syllables or two verse feet.
Many Thanks to Ben Johnson, a most useful resource. I have used his clear version of specifications above.
While I have used iambic pentameter below, perhaps the most well know rondeau, “In Flanders Field” by John McCrea, is written in iambic tetrameter.
I Need a Boy
I need a boy, to hold and play with me.
Can I be yours? I have no family.
I’ll come to you and love you ev’ry day .
I’ll mind you well and do just what you say.
Just hold and hug and take good care of me.
I’ll learn so quickly. Teach me where to pee.
I’ll let you teach me tricks, – just wait you’ll see.
I’ll mend your heart, and take your grief away.
I need a boy.
They came together hearing silent plea.
The years went by, and all folks would agree
Their special love was heaven sent that day.
T he boy was glad he heard that puppy say
Without the need for words, a simple plea –
I need a boy.
© Lawrencealot April 1, 2012