Editors Blog

WD Poetic Form Challenge: Rondel

(Quick note: My earlier sample messed up the rhyme scheme of the rondel, though the instructions have always been correct. Please make sure your rondels follow this rhyme scheme: ABba/abAB/abbaA. Happy poeming!)

Happy New Year!

Let’s get 2013 off to a great start with a new WD Poetic Form Challenge. For this challenge, we’re going to write therondel–a fun French poetic form. Click this link to review how to write a rondel.

For poets new to the WD Poetic Form Challenge, here’s how it works:

  • Post as many rondels as you wish in the comments until the deadline (below).
  • Once the deadline has passed, I’ll go through all the rondels and pick a winner (and usually a Top 10 list).
  • The winning rondel is published in a future issue of Writer’s Digest magazine.
  • Please remember to include your name as you wish it to appear in the magazine with your rondel(s).
  • Deadline is January 10, 2013.

 

Any questions can be sent to me at robert.brewer@fwmedia.com, but I will only review rondels included in the comments below.

Good luck!

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134 thoughts on “WD Poetic Form Challenge: Rondel

  1. tortoogal

    WHOM

    This tortoise teaches saying “whom.”
    Be careful what you say to me,.
    My Rosey says to write a knee
    as “it,” since it is not a groom

    or bride or person, I assume,
    or sandwich animal like me.
    Be careful what you say to me.
    This tortoise teaches saying “whom.”

    Few animals write, I must presume.
    We turtles first learned words like “tree”
    and many things that we can see.
    We learn curious rules. Can you?
    This tortoise teaches saying “whom.”

    submitted for my student Quake Tornieri
    Wirtten January 4, 2013

  2. susan budig

    The Truth of Dementia

    I don’t believe we’ve met before
    Your face does not remind
    To hold your hand? I’m disinclined
    And yet your key fits in my door

    You’re not familiar, though you implore
    That our hearts were once entwined
    Your face does not remind
    me, nor does your voice restore

    Remembering an old dance floor
    A man your height does spring to mind
    But the image fades, my mind unwinds
    And the tales you tell are all folk lore
    I don’t believe we’ve met before

    –by Susan Budig

  3. dandelionwine

    Unforgotten
    by Sara Ramsdell

    Let me tell you about my husband,
    she began wistfully, sweetly,
    her voice that of a mouse, barely
    audible, memories fashioned

    as windows mirrored, uncurtained,
    stark truths of love and loss. Slowly,
    she began wistfully, sweetly–
    let me tell you about my husband.

    A stranger to her now, hardened,
    a stark branch, he questioned harshly,
    who do you think I am? Then she
    answered as her damp eyes glistened,
    let me tell you about my husband…

  4. Michael Grove

    The Writing

    He read the writing on the wall
    although the image was not clear.
    He lived in doubt but had no fear
    of a line drive or the curve ball.

    Without fresh gas the car would stall.
    From her back seat he could not steer.
    He read the writing on the wall
    although the image was not clear.

    He did not strive to have it all.
    He would much rather volunteer.
    She revved her engine in first gear
    while in her haste he dropped the ball.
    He read the writing on the wall.

    By Michael Grove

  5. Nancy Posey

    Mismatched

    He loved the movie; I, the book.
    That’s all you really need to know.
    We didn’t read the warnings though—
    What chances with our hearts we took.

    He claimed he fell with just one look;
    I took another day or so.
    But all you really need to know:
    He loved the movie; I, the book.

    But Cupid’s such a clever crook,
    We’ve seen before how far he’ll go
    two mismatched hearts to overthrow,
    then leave them dangling on love’s hook.
    He loved the movie; I, the book.

  6. M. Yusuf

    Not Jack: A Rondel

    I’m dry of words I must admit
    To be precise, ideas lack
    I search for spirit steps to track
    On path, on wing, this mind does flit,

    With flop and fling of mimic’s-fit,
    Of “hit the road”, though name’s not Jack
    To be precise, ideas lack.
    I’m dry of words I must admit.

    Though stubborn too, and will not sit
    aback on stool in quitters shack
    To shake and shimmy and turn back
    With nothing in my Rondel kit
    (Not) Dry of words, I must admit.

  7. Nancy Posey

    Wedding Interrupted

    They’d heard whispers about the bride,
    nobody dared to tell the groom.
    But as he walked into the room,
    tension sizzled on the groom’s side.

    We weren’t surprised his mother cried.
    His father’s face bore shades of gloom.
    Nobody dared to tell the groom
    they’d heard whispers about the bride.

    Walking down the aisle, she tried
    to catch his eye across the room,
    but everything foreshadowed doom,
    and as he took her arm, he sighed.
    He’d heard whispers about the bride.

  8. Nancy Posey

    Fly

    I have no doubt that I could fly
    if I were not afraid to fall.
    I’d soar without a care at all
    like Icarus across the sky,

    without a soul as brave as I,
    too high to hear a warning call.
    If I were not afraid to fall
    I have no doubt that I could fly,

    but fear of failure leaves me shy.
    I’m stranded here atop this wall
    with waxen wings, no help at all.
    In gusts of wind, with one good try
    I have no doubt that I could fly.

  9. Michael Grove

    A also find it referenced several places with the ABba/abAB/abbaA rhyme scheme. Here is another one presented both ways.

    Painting Rainbows

    She’s painting rainbows everywhere.
    He built a ladder to the sun
    although his work was never done.
    He had so little time to spare.

    With broader strokes without despair
    she lives each day enjoying fun.
    She’s painting rainbows everywhere.
    He built a ladder to the sun.

    They were not utterly aware
    of each cold gaze and every stare.
    They shared their gifts with everyone
    until the darker days were done.
    She’s painting rainbows everywhere.

    By Michael Grove

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    Painting Rainbows

    She’s painting rainbows everywhere.
    He built a ladder to the sun
    although his work was never done.
    He had so little time to spare.

    With broader strokes without despair
    she lives each day enjoying fun.
    He built a ladder to the sun.
    She’s painting rainbows everywhere.

    They were not utterly aware
    of each cold gaze and every stare.
    They shared their gifts with everyone
    until the darker days were done.
    She’s painting rainbows everywhere.

    By Michael Grove

      1. Michael Grove

        Let’s try this…

        Painting Rainbows

        She’s painting rainbows everywhere.
        He built a ladder to the sun
        although his work was never done.
        He had so little time to spare.

        With broader strokes without despair
        she lives each day enjoying fun.
        She’s painting rainbows everywhere.
        He built a ladder to the sun.

        They were not utterly aware.
        Until the darker days were done
        they shared their gifts with everyone
        while left alone just standing there.
        She’s painting rainbows everywhere.

        By Michael Grove

  10. Linda.H

    Robert, when I first checked the prompt, the rules and the rhyme scheme in your example poem differed in the second stanza so I googled rondel to see which was correct. Everywhere I looked, it listed the rhyme scheme as ABba/abAB/abbaA so that is what I used. I hope that is correct.

    Like Love Letters in the Sun

    Innocence is fading away
    like love letters left in the sun,
    edges curling up one by one,
    black-lettered ink turning to gray.

    Young hearts learn early of dismay,
    learn how to hide and how to run.
    Innocence is fading away
    like love letters left in the sun

    or a week-old floral bouquet.
    Sweet words of praise and classroom fun
    are now replaced by fear of gun
    and sorrow for friends lost that day.
    Innocence is fading away.

    Linda Hofke

    1. Michael Grove

      I found at least 5 references for RONDEL with a rhyme scheme of ABba/abAB/abbaA or ABba/abAB/abbaA(B) but NONE with a rhyme scheme of ABba/abBA/abbaA so I guess I am confused…

  11. Kit Cooley

    A Cold War

    The usual tug of war of sheets
    Has left the blanket on the floor,
    Each wanting just a little more
    To warm the toes on frozen feet,

    In the middle we seem to meet
    To make a bargain, stop the war,
    But the blanket ends on the floor,
    Again, the tug of war of sheets,

    Just when you think the other’s beat,
    A cold draft freezes to the core,
    Too tired to even up the score,
    For now, I must admit defeat
    In the usual tug of war of sheets.

    Kit Cooley

  12. BDP

    High-Octane Intake

    by B Peters

    You’re gobbling up the asphalt feast,
    contentedly devouring way
    too much, contentious day
    forgotten as you’re gorging east

    of trouble. Push your two-door beast
    to guzzle! In Cabriolet’s
    contentedly devouring way
    you’re gobbling up the asphalt feast.

    With high caloric miles increased,
    the distance from your fiancé—
    his wasting, cheating power play—
    grows fatter. Say goodbye to least!
    You’re gobbling up the asphalt feast.

    * * *
    I’m new here, and already tried posting this poem once. It never went through. I waited an hour or so to see if it would show up, and when it didn’t, I thought I’d try once more. I’ve never posted any message anywhere else either, so I don’t know what to expect. Is there a wait time? Maybe this will be a double post when all is said and done.

    1. Jacqueline Hallenbeck

      Hi, B. Peters,

      There haven’t been any problems like that as of late (all my poems and comments have taken on the first try) but just in case, I would always write your poem in a word document and then copy and paste it onto the blog, so that you don’t lose it or have to re-type it all over again.

      Welcome to PA and good luck!
      Jac
      ^^

        1. BDP

          Thanks, Jac, for the advice and the welcome. I’ve never joined a blog before, and I guess I had beginner’s anxiety. I refreshed then on second thought rebooted. After that, I reposted, which didn’t take until the next day, along with the first post. Perhaps I met up with a filter, which in turn had to bless me with posting status. Barb

  13. Jacqueline Hallenbeck

    The poem

    Yes! I wrote it for my cousin.
    YesI I know it is forbidden.
    Couldn’t help it; I’ve been bitten
    by the love bug quite a dozen

    times. I understand I mustn’t
    and right now I wish I didn’t.
    Yes! I know it is forbidden.
    Yes! I wrote it for my cousin

    who I thought liked me but doesn’t.
    I am sad and quite guilt-ridden.
    Hope you keep my secret hidden.
    Any more? I swear, I’ll toss ‘em.
    Yes! I wrote it for my cousin.

  14. BDP

    High-Octane Intake

    by B Peters

    You’re gobbling up the asphalt feast,
    contentedly devouring way
    too much, contentious day
    forgotten as you’re gorging east

    of trouble. Push your two-door beast
    to guzzle! In Cabriolet’s
    contentedly devouring way
    you’re gobbling up the asphalt feast.

    With high caloric miles increased,
    the distance from your fiancé—
    his wasting, cheating power play—
    grows fatter. Say goodbye to least!
    You’re gobbling up the asphalt feast.

  15. Andrew Kreider

    The better part of valor

    If I were you, I’d turn around –
    you’re crazy to ignore that sign
    emblazoned with the bold outline
    of a cow with horns. That faint sound

    of pounding hoofs should not astound
    you – but you better pay it mind,
    you’re crazy to ignore that sign!
    If I were you, I’d turn around

    and run for home before you’re found
    like a squirrel chased up a pine
    tree, yelling for help! Please don’t whine,
    this field could be a killing ground…
    If I were you, I’d turn around.

  16. bluerabbit47

    The snow drifts down
    like feather lace,
    a wild goose case
    confounds the town

    draping a gown
    of ivory grace,
    a wild goose case,
    the snow drifts down.

    Between verb and noun,
    between form and space,
    between plot and place–
    love and renown–
    the snow drifts down

  17. RJ Clarken

    If I Were an Origami Artist

    “You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” ~Mark Twain

    I make a fold or two, then bend
    this square of paper at a crease.
    This form of art is a release:
    creating helps me comprehend

    beginning, middle and the end,
    a gentle way of finding peace.
    This square of paper at a crease
    I make a fold or two, then bend.

    A simple act. It can transcend
    bright colors, patterns. This small piece
    of fiber is more than caprice…
    a paper swan’s what I intend.
    I make a fold or two, then bend.

    ###

  18. Tracy Davidson

    Fade Away

    I thought my heart would break that day,
    when the doctor told us the news –
    your marked skin was more than a bruise
    that with time had not gone away.

    He said the cancerous cells may
    have spread, there was no time to lose.
    When the doctor told us the news
    I thought my heart would break that day.

    The dread disease moved in to stay,
    few treatment options left to choose.
    You begged me feed you pills and booze,
    I watched you fade and drift away.
    I thought my heart would break that day.

  19. Kwells

    Winter
    by Kate Wells

    Overnight the woodstove goes bone cold.
    Frost grips morning mists
    and winds up oaks that twist
    into grey Winter — all foretold

    by cottonwood leaves that were turned gold
    by forgotten October’s barbed kiss.
    Overnight the woodstove goes bone cold.
    Frost grips morning mists,

    keeps Spring in icy hold:
    splinters, cracks heat in its fist
    while the birds outside shiver and hiss
    and you and I grow old.
    Overnight the woodstove goes bone cold.

  20. Heatherrr

    Hair Gel Rondel

    Frankie, cake that gel in your hair,
    Cause a shower of flaking
    When you’re sitting in school, baking
    From the lack of cool air.

    I admit; it gives your mowhawks some flair.
    You run it through your strands then shake.
    Frankie, cake that gel in your hair,
    Cause an avalanche of flakes.

    The blue gunk makes the girls stare,
    Probably at the mess you’re making.
    You’re single, so you’re theirs for the taking.
    I find goop all over the bathroom wares;
    Remnants of a brother who cakes gel in his hair.

    –Heather G.

  21. shellaysm

    Where to Leave Footprints

    Finding strength to face tomorrow
    is knowing where to leave footprints.
    Which options will prove worthy stints?
    Such insight we’d gladly borrow.

    Journeys aren’t meant that easy though,
    from before time to ever since.
    Is knowing where to leave footprints
    finding strength to face tomorrow?

    Learn when to pack up the shadows,
    for scowls leave a permanent wince.
    View sour tarts as if sweet mints,
    and embrace joy over sorrow,
    finding strength to face tomorrow.

    Michele K. Smith

  22. Heather H

    Mental Yoga

    Eyes on your own yoga mat.
    Breathe deeply, filling your lungs.
    Examine the thought you’ve begun
    and label it “envy.” Beyond the mat,

    Boss pulls up in a new Cadillac.
    In the backseat, his baby son.
    Breathe deeply, filling your lungs.
    Eyes on your own yoga mat.

    Look at those cheeks, perfectly fat,
    yawning at the little you’ve done,
    showing off his unbroken gums.
    You’ve strained muscles, wishing for that…
    Eyes on your own yoga mat.

    Heather Hronek

  23. Kwells

    Winter by Kate Wells

    Overnight the woodstove goes bone cold.
    Frost grips morning mists
    and winds up oaks that twist
    into grey Winter — all foretold

    by cottonwood leaves that were turned gold
    by forgotten October’s barbed kiss.
    Overnight the woodstove goes bone cold.
    Frost grips morning mists,

    keeps Spring in icy hold:
    splinters, cracks heat in its fist
    while the birds outside shiver and hiss
    and you and I grow old.
    Overnight the woodstove goes bone cold.

  24. RJ Clarken

    Bonjour Tristesse

    Bonjour Tristesse, Melancholy…
    Why are you here, and why today?
    I really wish you’d go away.
    In the doldrums. Not so jolly.

    Please don’t tell me it’s my folly.
    Visiting long? Don’t overstay.
    Why are you here, and why today?
    Bonjour Tristesse, Melancholy…

    I’m not asking to be molly-
    coddled. Just want to see less gray.
    Just want some light, but by the way,
    this new chapter’s written rawly.
    Bonjour Tristesse, Melancholy…

    ###

  25. Tracy Davidson

    My Trust

    I gave you my heart, soul and trust,
    thinking you loved me more than life,
    was honoured to become your wife.
    But you ground my love into dust,

    when you gave in to carnal lust,
    cut me deep with a virtual knife.
    Thinking you loved me more than life
    I gave you my heart, soul and trust,

    as a loving wife surely must.
    Even when your affairs were rife
    I managed still, in spite of strife,
    to keep my pride, but only just.
    I gave you my heart, soul and trust.

  26. susan budig

    Lambing

    It drizzled as the ewe gave birth
    That never fails to amaze me
    A budding life now breathing free
    Its mewling call proclaiming worth

    The wet fresh lamb inspired mirth
    Oh, miracle: a twin, then three!
    That never fails to amaze me
    It drizzled as the ewe gave birth

    But one breaths not, returns to earth
    Its mouth, agape, but soundlessly
    This life, it holds no guarantee
    Save that fairness—a fickle girth
    It drizzled as the ewe gave birth

    –Susan Budig

  27. Jacqueline Hallenbeck

    Why the giraffe has such a long neck
    (after a Spanish poem that I read when I was younger)

    This is why I have a long neck.
    A girl was told by a giraffe.
    The latter quite nervously laughed
    as she started on a long trek

    to a time that just for a sec
    seemed to tear her sad heart in half.
    A girl was told by a giraffe:
    This is why I have a long neck.

    I hope you don’t cry… What the heck!
    A date stood me up; it was rough.
    I looked out the window; ‘twas tough.
    My neck stretched from here to Quebec.
    This is why I have a long neck.

  28. Andrew Kreider

    Inspiration

    If you just stare at a blank page
    you won’t find much inspiration
    for your work. Such concentration
    on what’s missing is the first stage

    of madness. Get out, go rummage
    through piles, steal a conversation –
    you won’t find much inspiration
    if you just stare at a blank page.

    Forget about acting your age,
    take off without explanation,
    give your spirit a vacation.
    A notebook can become a cage
    If you just stare at a blank page.

    Andrew Kreider

  29. Connie Peters

    To Pray Is To…

    To pray is to sip God’s splendor
    To shine His light in darkest hours
    To boldly bathe in grace showers
    To bask in His love so tender

    To know Him as the defender
    To rely on divine powers
    To shine His light in darkest hours
    To pray is to sip God’s splendor

    To bring what’s smashed to the mender
    To triumph over what devours
    To walk in faith which empowers
    To His purpose to surrender
    To pray is to sip God’s splendor

    –Connie L. Peters

  30. PressOn

    SONGSTRESS

    She sings the songs of other days,
    when life was bright and love was whole;
    she sings as though it were her goal
    to make of blues a hymn of praise.

    Her melodies recall the ways
    of lilies laughing on a knoll,
    when life was bright and love was whole.
    She sings the songs of other days,

    when lovers, lost in life’s great plays,
    were wont to revel in the role
    of helpmeet to the other’s soul.
    And so, with grace that might amaze,
    she sings the songs of other days.

    William Preston
    (hope to get this rhyme scheme straight, one of these days)

  31. PressOn

    BLIZZARD

    The snow is falling hard and fast
    while winds are forming turgid drifts;
    the two of them are winter’s gifts
    when autumn takes its leave at last.

    They mold a smooth, unbroken cast.
    The snow and winds work on, in shifts:
    while winds are forming turgid drifts,
    the snow is falling hard and fast

    and hoary hillocks, broad and vast,
    are made to rest on hieroglyphs
    within the trees. Until it lifts,
    the land must wait, amazed, aghast.
    The snow is falling, hard and fast.

    by William Presston

  32. Connie Peters

    I Resolve

    I resolve to seek Your face more
    To read the Bible and to pray
    To thank You for blessings each day
    To give more freely to the poor

    To count on You for what’s in store
    Walk by faith as You lead the way
    To read the Bible and to pray
    I resolve to seek Your face more

    Like a gosling on a pond’s shore
    Pursuing mom goose, come what may
    In her path, determined to stay
    Loving You is what I’m here for
    I resolve to seek Your face more

    –Connie L. Peters

  33. Connie Peters

    Two Wide-Eyed Kids

    Two wide-eyed kids once ran about.
    Oh, where could they have run off to?
    Like ghosts, they’re often flitting through.
    I can just hear them laugh and shout.

    Playing together, acting out
    fiction stories and sometimes true.
    Oh, where could they have run off to?
    Two wide-eyed kids once ran about.

    I miss those little ones, no doubt.
    I can’t believe how fast they grew.
    So busy with life, time just flew.
    I visit them the photo route.
    Two wide-eyed kids once ran about.

    –Connie L. Peters

  34. Mustang Sal

    Writer’s Block

    Blank Page beckons like new, blown snow,
    calling me from inner mindness,
    but I suffer from snow blindness,
    stumble, stagger; no way to go.

    With frozen fingers, lips and toes
    I sit here stuck in my resignedness.
    Calling me from inner mindness,
    Blank Page beckons like new, blown snow.

    I take a step, but vertigo
    has me running back – I’m spineless.
    But I don’t like this left behindness.
    I have to speak, to write, to grow.
    Blank Page beckons like new, blown snow.

    by Sally Valentine

  35. taylor graham

    For Goodwill

    Her closet’s an uncanny world
    of the passé, outmoded, old
    and throw-away – a hint of mold
    or dust. A rosebud shawl unfurled,

    and here’s an evening bag all pearled
    for party. If the truth be told,
    her closet’s an uncanny world
    of the passé. Outmoded, old –

    this fox-head stole, its lost eyes merled,
    still staring – might this fox be sold
    now on eBay? The fox-paws cold.
    In her youth, how the vixen skirled.
    Her closet’s an uncanny world.

  36. taylor graham

    FOR GOODWILL

    Her closet is a whole new world.
    It’s so passé, outmoded, old
    and throw-away – a hint of mold
    or dust. This rosebud shawl unfurled,

    and here’s an evening bag all pearled
    for party. If the truth be told,
    her closet is a whole new world,
    it’s so passé, outmoded, old.

    This fox-head stole – might it be sold
    on eBay? How the vixen skirled
    in her short youth. Those lost eyes merled,
    still staring, and the fox-paws curled.
    Her closet is a whole new world.

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