Rondeau Prime

• The Rondeau Prime is a short variation of the Rondeau originating in 13th century France. It allows more rhyme than the Rondeau, but incorporates its defining feature of the integration of the rentrement. (opening phrase of the first line which is repeated as a refrain.)
The Rondeau Prime is:
○ in French syllabic, in English tends to be iambic meter, line length is optional as long as the lines are relatively equal, with the exception of the shorter rentrement.
○ 12 lines, made up of a septet (7 lines) followed by a cinquain (5 lines).
○ rhymed, rhyme scheme abbccbR abbaR, R being the rentrement.

Wind on the Terrace by Judi Van Gorder7-12-05

A leaf in the wind taps the pane,
reminding me that you have gone.
Although my busy days move on,
it is small moments that I miss,
a gesture, glance, a touch, a kiss.
You went away before the dawn,
a leaf in the wind.

I watch the clouds bring in the rain,
the tears that fall and splash upon
the terrace of a time withdrawn,
the sound repeating your refrain,
a leaf in the wind.

Pasted from
My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for years of work on this fine PMO resource.

Rondeau Prime
Type: Structure, Metrical Requirement, Repetitive Requirement, Rhyme Scheme Requirement
Description: Two-part French form that is isosyllabic except for the shorter refrains. The refrain is the first part of the first line.
Origin: French
Schematic: (Ra)bbaabR abbaR

R = refrain and first part of first line.
Line/Poem Length: 12

Pasted from
My thanks to Charles L. Weatherford for his years of work on the wonderful Poetrybase resource.

Specifications restated, The Rondeau Prime is:
A 12 line poem of French origin, (variation of the Rondeau)
Syllabic in French, often iambic in English
Isosyllabic lines, except for the shorter refrain lines
Rhyme Scheme: (Ra)bbaabR abbaR,
where R is the first part of the first line and becomes the refrain.

My example

If Pigs Could Fly (Form: Rondeau Prime)

If pigs could fly men would have had
another bacon source of course
and fought their wars on pig and horse,
and knights courting their maidens fair
would routinely arrive by air
(and no-fly zones would be in force),
if pigs could fly.

Demand for goats would rise a tad
as farmers would of course endorse
a new refuse disposal source.
My backyard mud-hole would be rad
if pigs could fly.

© Lawrencealot – January 18, 2015

Visual template

Rondeau Prime


The Rondine is a little seen shortened version of the Rondeau dating back to at least the 16th century. 
The elements of the Rondine are:
1. a poem in 12 lines made up of a quatrain, a tercet and ending in a quintet.
2. syllabic 8 syllables per line accept L7 and L12 which are 4 syllables each.
3. In English metered, most often iambic tetrameter except the refrain which is iambic dimeter.
4. composed with a refrain repeated from the opening phrase of the poem, rentrement.
5. rhymed, using only 2 rhymes except for the refrain being unrhymed, rhyme scheme abba,abR, abbaR
(R being the refrain)

Poetry Magnum Opus

My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for the fine resource above.

NOTE: The rhyme may be sight rhyme, slant rhyme, or assonance.
ALSO NOTE: This form is found frequently WITH MORE than EIGHT syllables, as in the example given on the page quoted below.

This is another very neglected and a very challenging poetry form. It consists of two stanzas, a septet (7 lines), and a quintet (5 lines), making the poem a total of 12 lines. There is a refrain which mimics the first phrase of the first line. R.

The Rondine has a rhyme scheme of,

(R a). b. b. a. a. b. R….a. b. b. a. R.

The meter is open with the French style and not bound by a rhyming pattern and is a more light and buoyant even “flashy” form of poetry which uses short lines, whereas the English is more formal and uses Tetrameter or Pentameter.

Here is an example by Wesli Court.

The Poets Garret

My Example

Write a Rondine

Here’s my Rondine, my very first.
With practice I’ll get better yet.
There is not much I should forget.
The rhymes are decently dispersed.
Find five alike, then dive headfirst.
Now have I, your interest whet?
Here’s my Rondine.

Choose words so refrain’s not coerced.
It ties the poem don’t forget,
from start to end refrain’s abet
a singularity well versed.
Here’s my Rondine.  

© Lawrencealot – April 2012