WD Poetic Form Challenge: Roundelay

Time for another WD Poetic Form Challenge–this time for the roundelay!

Find the rules for writing roundelays here. A good, old school French poetic form packed with plenty of rhymes and refrains (plenty of rhymes and refrains).

So start writing them and sharing here on the blog (this specific post) for a chance to be published in Writer’s Digest magazine–as part of the Poetic Asides column. (Note: You have to log in to the site to post comments/poems; creating an account is free.)

Here’s how the challenge works:

  • Challenge is free. No entry fee.
  • The winner (and sometimes a runner-up or two) will be featured in a future edition of Writer’s Digest magazine as part of the Poetic Asides column.
  • Deadline 11:59 p.m. (Atlanta, GA time) on October 31, 2017.
  • Poets can enter as many roundelays as they wish. The more “work” you make for me the better, but remember: I’m judging on quality, not quantity.
  • All poems should be previously unpublished. If you have a specific question about your specific situation, just send me an e-mail at robert.brewer@fwmedia.com. Or just write a new roundelay. They’re fun to write; I promise.
  • I will only consider poems shared in the comments below. It gets too confusing for me to check other posts, go to other blogs, etc.
  • Speaking of posting, if this is your first time, your comment may not appear immediately. However, it should appear within a day (or 3–if shared on the weekend). So just hang tight, and it should appear eventually. If not, send me an e-mail at the address above.
  • Please include your name as you would like it to appear in print. If you don’t, I’ll be forced to use your user/screen name, which might be something like HaikuPrincess007 or MrLineBreaker. WD has a healthy circulation, so make it easy for me to get your byline correct.
  • Finally–and most importantly–be sure to have fun!

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The new 2018 Poet’s Market, edited by Robert Lee Brewer, includes hundreds of poetry markets, including listings for poetry publications, publishers, contests, and more! With names, contact information, and submission tips, poets can find the right markets for their poetry and achieve more publication success than ever before.

In addition to the listings, there are articles on the craft, business, and promotion of poetry–so that poets can learn the ins and outs of writing poetry and seeking publication. Plus, it includes a one-year subscription to the poetry-related information on WritersMarket.com. All in all, it’s the best resource for poets looking to secure publication.

Click to continue.

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Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community, which means he maintains this blog, edits a couple Market Books (Poet’s Market and Writer’s Market), writes a poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine, leads online education, speaks around the country on publishing and poetry, and a lot of other fun writing-related stuff. He’s also the author of the poetry collection Solving the World’s Problems.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.

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16 thoughts on “WD Poetic Form Challenge: Roundelay

  1. James Von Hendy

    Snow Angel

    From dream she called to me from long ago,
    her face rising through the snow. I turned to flee
    this ghost that knew the taste of me, her woe
    and mine a lovers’ ancient history.
    She lay, a hollow body in the snow,
    her winged arms flung wide to beckon me.

    This ghost that knew the taste of me, her woe
    and mine a lovers’ ancient history,
    she pursed her lips, a perfect ruby bow
    that always arrowed me. So wantonly
    she lay, a hollow body in the snow,
    her winged arms flung wide to beckon me.

    She pursed her lips, a perfect ruby bow
    that always arrowed me so wantonly.
    I couldn’t tear myself away, and so
    I bent my lips to hers to let it be.
    She lay, a hollow body in the snow,
    her winged arms flung wide to beckon me.

    I couldn’t tear myself away, and so
    I bent my lips to hers to let it be,
    and kissed not her but icy air below
    a veil of powdered snow, yet I could see
    she lay, a hollow body in the snow,
    her winged arms flung wide, and beckoned me.

    1. James Von Hendy

      Snow Angel

      From dream she called to me from long ago,
      her face rising through the snow. I turned to flee
      this ghost that knew the taste of me, her woe
      and mine a lovers’ ancient history.
      She lay, a hollow body in the snow,
      her winged arms flung wide to beckon me.

      This ghost that knew the taste of me, her woe
      and mine a lovers’ ancient history,
      she pursed her lips, a perfect ruby bow
      that always arrowed me. So wantonly
      she lay, a hollow body in the snow,
      her winged arms flung wide to beckon me.

      She pursed her lips, a perfect ruby bow
      that always arrowed me so wantonly.
      I couldn’t tear myself away, and so
      I bent my lips to hers to let it be.
      She lay, a hollow body in the snow,
      her winged arms flung wide to beckon me.

      I couldn’t tear myself away, and so
      I bent my lips to hers to let it be,
      and kissed not her but icy air below
      a veil of powdered snow, yet I could see
      she lay, a hollow body in the snow,
      her winged arms flung wide to beckon me.

  2. kaycourt

    Courtney Cohen

    A Forest of T’s on a Tempest Tost Sea

    A Forest of T’s on a tempest tost sea
    Sailed from home in the early morn
    The eldest T thought it never could be
    Though she’d dreamt of it since she was born
    Tanith, Teasdale, Thaddeus, Tilden and Ellery, all children you see
    Never dreaming that they could be torn

    The eldest T thought it never could be
    Though she’d dreamt of it since she was born
    A land built of wonder and fantasy
    Where nothing grew tired or worn
    Tanith, Teasdale, Thaddeus, Tilden and Ellery, all children you see
    Never dreaming that they could be torn

    A land built of wonder and fantasy
    Where nothing grew tired or worn
    But the glittering fancies led to catastrophe
    Lost children trapped in a land forlorn
    Tanith, Teasdale, Thaddeus, Tilden and Ellery, all children you see
    Never dreaming that they could be torn

    But the glittering fancies led to catastrophe
    Lost children trapped in a land forlorn
    Till the tear was mended and all were free
    Ships sailing home to return
    Tanith, Teasdale, Thaddeus, Tilden and Ellery, all children you see
    Never dreaming that they could be torn

  3. AsWritten

    A STERN LOOK AT TIME by Ken Bentz

    By some coincidence, Earth moves
    as if time were real. But we know
    that men dreamt it. A full moon proves
    the point – its mocking, waning glow
    charts a course along well-worn grooves
    of sky. A heart reaps what it sows.

    And men dreamt it. A full moon proves
    the point. Its mocking, waning glow
    Illuminates your scars. It removes
    (outshines) darkness, but its shadow
    charts a course along well-worn grooves
    of sky. A heart reaps what it sows –

    illuminates your scars. It removes
    (outshines) darkness, but its shadow
    is your nemesis. Life improves,
    but a lone blackbird’s sad solo
    charts a course along well-worn grooves
    of sky. A heart reaps what it sows.

    It’s your nemesis. Life improves,
    but a lone blackbird’s sad solo
    calls you back, even though Earth moves.
    Second thoughts. Imprisoned sorrow
    charts a course along well-worn grooves
    of sky. A heart reaps what it sows.

  4. Eileen S

    Let the River Flow

    Someone I once revered is mentally ill.
    When I found out, it was a sobering blow.
    The communications we have now is nil.
    He lives in a world where I cannot go.
    In the past, I wanted to push the river uphill
    because I could not let the river flow.

    The communications we have now is nil.
    He lives in a world where I cannot go.
    His anger and rage could make him kill.
    An assaultive fist, I’ve seen him throw.
    In the past, I wanted to push the river uphill
    because I wanted to control the river’s flow.

    His anger and rage could make him kill.
    An assaultive fist, I’ve seen him throw.
    He used to be kind and now he’s a pill.
    He can’t help himself, I do well know.
    In the past, I wanted to push the river uphill
    because I would not let the river flow.

    He used to be kind and now he’s a pill.
    He can’t help himself, I do well know.
    Someone I once revered is mentally ill.
    When I found out, it was quite a blow.
    In the past, I wanted to push the river uphill
    but now I sit back and let the river flow.

    Poem by Eileen Sateriale
    @ 2017
    Poet note: I am writing about a very difficult situation and coming to grips with it.

  5. Sasha A. Palmer

    The shore is kind, horizon — wide
    A tender breeze so gently blows
    Come, take your vessel for a ride
    Those swift white caps are not your foes
    Our happiness — an ocean tide
    That comes and goes, that comes and goes…

    Come, take your vessel for a ride
    Those swift white caps are not your foes
    You would not hold time if you tried
    Gold specks of sand between your toes
    Our happiness — an ocean tide
    That comes and goes, that comes and goes…

    You would not hold time if you tried
    Gold specks of sand between your toes
    Come, sail while dazzling seas abide
    The day, the hour — nobody knows
    Our happiness — an ocean tide
    That comes and goes, that comes and goes…

    Come, sail while dazzling seas abide
    The day, the hour — nobody knows
    Fragile sandcastles builds a child
    The setting sun so softly glows
    Our happiness — an ocean tide
    That comes and goes, that comes and goes…

  6. barbara_y

    Life’s Great Primordial Slime Traveling Carney Roundelay

    Why doesn’t life restart daily
    with Square One. With making Square One?
    We stare at the mirror palely,
    cartoon fish, sketched but never done,
    just a carnival of gaily
    strung DNA, bared to the sun.

    We stare at the mirror palely,
    cartoon fish, sketched but never done.
    Reliving the same fish tale. We
    will be caught and gutted again.
    Just a carnival of gaily
    strung DNA, bared to the sun.

    Reliving the same fish tale. We
    will be caught and gutted again.
    I’ve got my grandmother’s scaly
    elbows, but not her thick white bun,
    just a carnival of gaily
    strung DNA, bared to the sun.

    I’ve got my grandmother’s scaly
    elbows, but not her thick white bun.
    Which inherited ccktail we
    deserve is/not a trick question,
    just a carnival of gaily
    strung DNA, bared to the sun.

  7. RJ Clarken

    Neologisms

    See, this neologism piece
    is a bit of perserveerance.
    Please do not call the word police
    as there is no incoherence.
    Utter a blutter? Not caprice
    in spite of the odd appearance.

    Please do not call the word police
    as there is no incoherence.
    Like, flabsolution trumps obese.
    Twitticule’s just rude abearance.
    Utter a blutter? Not caprice
    in spite of the odd appearance.

    Like, flabsolution trumps obese.
    Twitticule’s just rude abearance.
    Chillax? Its use will not decrease
    sans 404 interference.
    Utter a blutter? Not caprice
    in spite of the odd appearance.

    Chillax? Its use will not decrease
    sans 404 interference.
    See, this neologism piece
    is a bit of perserveerance.
    Utter a blutter? Not caprice
    in spite of the odd appearance.

    ###

  8. taylor graham

    A POET’S LAST WORDS

    This was the end of a long ride,
    life being briefer than the bird
    who stopped to whistle by his side
    in the darkening woods. Absurd?
    If I remember right, he died
    pen in hand alive with a word.

    Who stopped to whistle by his side
    in the darkening woods. Absurd?
    From sky to earth no rivers bide,
    he’d taste the waters as they stirred.
    If I remember right, he died
    pen in hand alive with a word.

    From sky to earth no rivers bide,
    he’d taste the waters as they stirred.
    He was river – don’t say he lied,
    but wrote of silences he heard.
    If I remember right, he died
    pen in hand alive with a word.

    He was river – don’t say he lied.
    He wrote of silences unheard,
    unchaining of the dog long tied,
    its barking at the heavens blurred.
    If I remember right, he died
    pen in hand alive with a word.

  9. taylor graham

    THE CRUELEST MONTH

    I woke to keening of the sheep,
    a lamentation dark as night
    when the wild hunger can not sleep.
    A new lamb vanishes from sight –
    I look and listen to the deep
    but find no sign, no line of flight.

    When the wild hunger can not sleep
    a new lamb vanishes from sight.
    Off the high ridge coyotes sweep –
    are fences ever danger-tight?
    I look and listen to the deep
    but find no sign, no line of flight.

    Off the high ridge coyotes sweep –
    are fences never danger-tight?
    The owl calls our defenses cheap,
    its talons quick and steely bright.
    I look and listen to the deep
    but find no sign, no line of flight.

    The owl calls our defenses cheap,
    its talons quick and steely bright.
    It lifts small prey that run or creep
    in shadow, fearful of the light.
    I look and listen to the deep
    but find no sign, no line of flight.

  10. Bruce Niedt

    Category 5

    The weather radar shows its core,
    a cold, dead eye amidst a brew
    of wind and storms and rains that pour,
    a buzzsaw set to tear and chew.
    Some day it will blow in your door.
    The red wheel spins, it spins for you.

    The wind, the storms, the rains thatl pour,
    the buzzsaw set to tear and chew –
    this maelstrom’s one you can’t ignore;
    this time you may not ride it through.
    Some day it will blow in our door.
    The red wheel spins, it spins for you.

    This maelstrom’s one you can’t ignore,
    this time you may not ride it through.
    You watch the boat torn off its moor,
    your roof ripped out, you house askew.
    Today it has blown in your door.
    The red wheel spins, it spins for you.

    You watch the boat torn off its moor,
    your roof ripped out, your house askew.
    But then the winds are calm once more;
    the rains let up, the sky turns blue.
    Today it has blown in your door,
    but that red wheel’s not taken you.

    1. Bruce Niedt

      A slight edit:

      The weather radar shows its core,
      a cold, dead eye amidst a brew
      of wind and storms and rains that pour,
      a buzzsaw set to tear and chew.
      Some day it will blow in your door.
      The red wheel spins, it spins for you.

      The wind, the storms, the rains that pour,
      the buzzsaw set to tear and chew –
      this maelstrom’s one you can’t ignore;
      this time you may not ride it through.
      Some day it will blow in your door.
      The red wheel spins, it spins for you.

      This maelstrom’s one you can’t ignore,
      this time you may not ride it through.
      You watch the boat torn off its moor,
      your roof ripped out, you house askew.
      Today it has blown in your door.
      The red wheel spins, it spins for you.

      You watch the boat torn off its moor,
      your roof ripped out, your house askew.
      But then the winds are calm once more;
      the rains let up, the sky turns blue.
      Today it has blown in your door,
      but that red wheel’s not taken you.

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