New Poetic Form: The Roundabout

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Our Poetic Asides inaugural Poet Laureate, Sara Diane Doyle, has been busy-busy-busy this summer working with teen writers. But not too busy to share with her fellow Poetic Asides crew a new poetic form she developed with one of her students, David Edwards. Since Sara knows the form best, I'll let her explain the form to you in her own words.


A few months ago I began exploring various poetic forms.With each form I tried, I would post my attempt on a forum for teen writers, where I am a mentor.One of the teens, David Edwards, got interested in forms, especially the “created” forms.He asked if anyone could invent a form and I said “sure!”Then, he got the crazy idea that we should create a form together.

To start, we wanted to throw in every poetic element that we really liked.David came up with the meter and feet and I added in the repeating line.We came up with the rhyme scheme and length together.The result is a form we call the Roundabout.In this form, the rhyme scheme comes full circle while offering repetition of one line in each rhyme set.

The Roundabout is a four stanza poem, with each stanza consisting of 5 lines.The poem is written in iambic and the lines have 4 feet, 3 feet, 2 feet, 2 feet and 3 feet respectively.The rhyme scheme is abccb/bcddc/cdaad/dabba.Roundabouts can be on any subject.

Several of the writers on our forum have written Roundabouts and have had a blast."We would love for other poets to give it a try!Here are some examples to get you started.


by David Edwards

Around around the carousel

across the circles face

we cry we shout

we crash about

across the circles face

and ever always breakneck pace

by this unending route

and twists and turns

and breaks and burns

by this unending route

of ever always in and out

the yearling quickly learns

to run and yell

at ocean’s swell

the yearling quickly learns

to run and leap and then he earns

but he will never tell

there’s not a chase

that wins the race

but he will never tell.

When Spring Trips ‘Round

by Sara Diane Doyle

When wildflowers bloom once more

and raindrops touch the earth,

the faeries come

to start the hum

and raindrops touch the earth!

Come join the song, the dance the mirth!

Enjoy the juicy plum.

beneath the sun

'til day is done-

enjoy the juicy plum!

The clouds let out the beating drum-

rejoice with us as one.

Our joy we pour

for pain we bore-

rejoice with us as one.

Of gleeful hope, the snow knows none,

but speaks of faeries lore,

of magic birth,

the greatest worth

but speaks of faeries lore.