I must be telling you soon about recent days, upcoming days, people and places and all manner of wonderfulness, but first I’ll shyly share this roundel. Tricia at the Miss Rumphius Effect blog posted a poetry stretch yesterday (in fact, she posts a poetry stretch *every* Monday; you should write yourself a note to check on Mondays for inspiration). This week she challenged us to write a roundel (not to be confused with a rondelle). I have not written a roundel before. (And perhaps you will say after reading this that STILL I have not written a roundel!)

The roundel, according to Paul Janeczko in A Kick in the Head: An Everyday Guide to Poetic Forms, is "a three-stanza poem of 11 lines. The stanzas have four, three, and four lines in them and a rhyme scheme of abab bab abab. Ah, but there’s more. Line 4 is repeated as line 11 — not an easy trick!"  (I also noticed that the repeat is often the first three words of the first line, but I’m not sure everyone does it that way.) I came fairly quickly and easily to my repeat, and my rhyming words, had most of the poem written and then decided that my second line didn’t work. I’m also unsure how they’re supposed to work metrically, as some of the roundels I’ve read have fairly strict meter and some are more fluid. I’m happier with my version now than before but still not 100% sure. As with all poetry, I’ll let it sit. And then come back to it. And then let it sit some more. And then come back to it. Several times, over and over, until I finally decide to release it. 

But for now, I’ll share its current form with you.



You must goodbye this barren ground.

Turn your face, take leave, though my

wingless form is bound.

You must goodbye.


I cannot follow, though try

I will, for when I’ve found

my wings, I’ll fly


away, away. I’ll soar, crowned

with joy beneath a moonlit sky,

spread my wings without a sound . . .

You must goodbye.

–Kristy Dempsey (2009, all rights reserved) 



8 thoughts on “Roundel

    1. Hi, B! It is kind of a fun form, with wildly varying results, isn’t it? I’m interested to know about the meter thing. They don’t seem completely metrical but I’m not sure if mine came close enough. Time for the poetry experts to weigh in!

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