Rondeau- a reminder

https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/text/rondeau-poetic-form

 

“An example of a solemn rondeau is the Canadian army physician John McCrae’s 1915 wartime poem, “In Flanders Fields“:

     In Flanders fields the poppies grow
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.

The challenge of writing a rondeau is finding an opening line worth repeating and choosing two rhyme sounds that offer enough word choices. Modern rondeaus are often playful; for example, “Rondel” by Frank O’Hara begins with this mysterious directive: “Door of America, mention my fear to the cigars,” which becomes the poem’s refrain.”

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