Rondeau Notes

The Rondeau can be a challenging form for the poet. Consisting of three stanzas, a quintet, a quatrain, and a sestet, the first phrase of the first line, or the hole first line sets the refrain (R). The meter is eight syllable or ten syllable line, but it is the poet’s choice if that is iambic tetrameter or pentameter.
The rhyme scheme is
(R)aabba aab(R) aabba(R)

Example

In Flanders Field by Lt. Col. John McCrae, M.D.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields

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