Write a Rondeau

The rondeau is a lyric poem with French origins. This form of poetry has an interesting pattern. There are three stanzas, but not one has the same number of lines or the same rhyme scheme as the others. Beginning with a quintet (5 lines), followed by a quatrain (4 lines), and ending with a sestet (6 lines), the rondeau boasts 15 lines. Included in those lines are two refrains taken from the first line of the poem.

The rondeau is usually written in iambic tetrameter or pentameter. That is, each line of the rondeau contains four or five feet of two beats: unstressed/stressed. The rondeau follows a specific rhyme scheme, but there is one odd element to it; a few words are taken from the first line and used as a short refrain for the end of the second and third stanzas. The rhyme scheme looks like this: aabba aabR aabbaR. The "R" stands for the placement of the refrain.

The pattern for a rondeau written in iambic tetrameter can be demonstrated like this:

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