Rondel (poem)


Rondel (poem)

A rondel is a verse form originating in French lyrical poetry, later used in the verse of other languages as well, such as English and Romanian. It is a variation of the rondeau consisting of two quatrains followed by a quintet (13 lines total) or a sextet (14 lines total). The rondel was invented in the 14th century, and is arguably better suited to the French language than to English.

(Not to be confused with Roundel, a similar verse form with repeating refrain.)

The first two lines of the first stanza are refrains, repeating as the last two lines of the second stanza and the third stanza. (Alternately, only the first line is repeated at the end of the final stanza). For instance, if A and B are the refrains, a rondel will have a rhyme scheme ofABba abAB abbaA

The meter is open, but typically has eight syllables.

There are several variations of the rondel, and some inconsistencies. For example, sometimes only the first line of the poem is repeated at the end; or: the second refrain may return at the end of last stanza, making a Rondel Prime (aka, Rondel Supreme or French Sonnet). Henry Austin Dobson provides the following example of a rondel prime:

Love comes back to his vacant dwelling, The old, old Love that we knew of yore! We see him stand by the open door, With his great eyes sad, and his bosom swelling.

He makes as though in our arms repelling He fain would lie as he lay before; Love comes back to his vacant dwelling, The old, old Love that we knew of yore!

Ah ! who shall help us from over-spelling That sweet, forgotten, forbidden lore? E'en as we doubt, in our hearts once more, With a rush of tears to our eyelids welling, Love comes back to his vacant dwelling, The old, old Love that we knew of yore!

External links

[http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/rondel-of-merciless-beauty/ Rondel of Merciless Beauty] , a rondel in variant form by Geoffrey Chaucer


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  • rondel — late 14c., from O.Fr. rondel short poem, lit. small circle, dim. of roont (fem. roonde) circular (see ROUND (Cf. round)). Metrical form of 14 lines with only two rhymes. So called because the initial couplet is repeated at the end …   Etymology dictionary

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  • poem — Synonyms and related words: English sonnet, Horatian ode, Italian sonnet, Petrarchan sonnet, Pindaric ode, Sapphic ode, Shakespearean sonnet, alba, anacreontic, article, autograph, balada, ballad, ballade, brainchild, bucolic, canso, chanson,… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • rondel — ron•del [[t]ˈrɒn dl, rɒnˈdɛl[/t]] n. pro a short poem usu. of 14 lines on two rhymes, with the initial couplet repeated in the middle and at the end • Etymology: 1250–1300; < OF rondel, dim. of rond round I …   From formal English to slang

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