Skip to main content

Rondine: Poetic Forms

Learn how to write a rondine, a French 12-liner, including guidelines for the poetic form and an example poem.

As regular readers of this blog can attest, I love me some French forms. And this week's poetic form is a French form: the rondine.

Rondine Poems

If the term "rondine" sounds familiar, almost like rondeau, that's because it's very similar to the rondeau. In fact, I'm thinking of calling it the little rondeau, because it's kind of like a mini-version of the rondeau.

So here are the basic rules:

  • 12-line poem
  • 2 stanzas
  • 7 lines in the first stanza; 5 lines in the second
  • 8 or 10 syllables per line, except in the 7th and 12th lines
  • 7th and 12th lines are a refrain
  • The refrain comes from the opening word or phrase of the poem
  • Rhyme pattern looks like this: abbaabR/abbaR

*****

The Complete Guide of Poetic Forms

Play with poetic forms!

Poetic forms are fun poetic games, and this digital guide collects more than 100 poetic forms, including more established poetic forms (like sestinas and sonnets) and newer invented forms (like golden shovels and fibs).

Click to continue.

*****

Here’s my attempt at a Rondine Poem:

If I Were You, by Robert Lee Brewer

If I were you, I'd not be me;
instead, I'd be a complete fake
or, perhaps, I mean to say flake
as in snow dissolved in the sea
as in something that's hard to see
and still there'd be nothing to take
if I were you.

For instance, remove my name Lee
from anything I plan to make
and insert your namesake
and replace all traces of me
if I were you.

*****

Okay, so my example doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but you should get the idea of how the form works now, right? So now you know, and as you know, knowing is half the battle.

So now get poeming!

Writing Goals and Intentions: 25 Prompts

Writing Goals and Intentions: 25 Prompts

Make this year your most successful writing year ever by considering the following questions to set your goals and intentions.

Is a Personal Essay Considered Journalism?

Is a Personal Essay Considered Journalism?

Journalist Alison Hill answers the question of whether or not the personal essay is considered journalism by defining the genre and offering examples. Plus, outlets for you to publish your own personal essay.

Forth vs. Fourth (Grammar Rules)

Forth vs. Fourth (Grammar Rules)

Learn when to use forth vs. fourth in your writing with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Bad Place

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Bad Place

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, make the setting the antagonist.

Gaslighting in Romance: From Jane Eyre to the Present Day (and Why Writers Should Care)

Gaslighting in Romance: From Jane Eyre to the Present Day (and Why Writers Should Care)

Gaslighting can work its way into the backstory of a character, but it can also be misused. Here, author Emma Barry discusses gaslighting in romance.

Brad Taylor: On Real-Life Threats Inspiring Thriller Novels

Brad Taylor: On Real-Life Threats Inspiring Thriller Novels

Author and veteran Brad Taylor discusses the research that led to his new thriller novel, The Devil’s Ransom.

How Roleplaying Helps Our Writing—and Our Marriage

How Role-Playing Helps Our Writing—and Our Marriage

As co-writing partners who fully embody the stories they tell in their writing process, authors Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka share how role-playing helps their writing, and their marriage.

How To Get Started in Copywriting

How To Get Started in Copywriting

From writing and reading to majoring outside of journalism, copywriter and author Robert W. Bly shares how to get started in copywriting.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 640

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a pursuit poem.