Perhaps one day you, too, will be compelled (yea!) to write a rondeau poem. But what if your knowledge of the rondeau form starts (and stops) at the edge of John McCrae’s In Flanders Fields or is mostly hidden within Paul Lawrence Dunbar’s We Wear the Mask? Where will you start?
You could start with that compulsion, like some people we know, or you could find some freedom in the structure of form poetry. And if you like numbers, we can break it down for you like this:
of 8-10 syllables
in 3 stanzas, including a quintet (5 lines), a quatrain (4 lines) and a sestet (6 lines)
with 1 refrain (or rentrement) comprised of the first few words or the whole first line
and 2 rhymes
Use our fun How to Write a Rondeau Infographic as a guide!
(Click image to view larger)
Download a printable PDF version of our How to Write a Rondeau Infographic
Post and infographic by LW Lindquist.
How to Write a Poem uses images like the buzz, the switch, the wave—from the Billy Collins poem “Introduction to Poetry”—to guide writers into new ways of writing poems. Excellent teaching tool. Anthology and prompts included.
“How to Write a Poem is a classroom must-have.”
—Callie Feyen, English Teacher, Maryland