Poetry Friday: A Round of Rondeau Redouble


So, every once in a while, I get to write poems with the Poetry Princesses, which is an intimidating thrill. First, we did the crown sonnet. Next up was the villanelle. And then, with barely time for a deep sigh of relief after we posted those in December, we somehow ended up embroiled in a new form, the rondeau redoublé (I won’t mention whose fault that was). Huh. I’m noticing we never seem to pick a simple (not to say easy, but at least simple) form. I think next time I’m going to suggest an acrostic or something I’ve at least written before!

Anyway, today we are posting our rondeau redoublés, inspired by our theme of spring/fresh starts. I take some comfort from this online description: “The rondeau redoublé is not an easy form to write. It uses only two rhymes throughout, repeats whole lines, and has an awkward repeated half-line at the end.” That was not a terribly inspiring thing to read as I started, but it was cold comfort as I struggled with the form.

I had been thinking about bears, and when we agreed on our theme, I decided to write from a bear’s point of view as it emerges from hibernation. I wanted to write a poem accessible to older kids…say middle school or older, and here’s what I came up with:

Old Bear, New Year

The darkness shrinks. The sun plays peekaboo.
It breaks the endless gloom of winter’s drear!
I shrug off hibernation’s residue—
It’s time I rose and met another year.

I fell asleep alone, but cubs are here!
How they arrived I haven’t got a clue.
One wild night and now…a souvenir?
The darkness shrinks. The sun plays peekaboo.

My front porch has a million-dollar view:
My favorite back-scratch birch and clover dear.
A lake–a mirror–glistens, navy blue.
It breaks the endless gloom of winter’s drear.

I’ve grown so thin I almost disappear!
A baby elk or rabbit’s overdue.
My stomach growls—it knows that dinner’s near.
I shrug off hibernation’s residue.

This world is not the autumn that I knew.
Spring forces me to be a pioneer.
There’s ground to cover—new weight to accrue.
It’s time I rose and met another year

Bright April makes its annual debut.
The buzz of bees is music to my ear.
My matted fur reflects the sun’s tattoo.
I lumber off, explore this new frontier.
The darkness shrinks.

–Laura Purdie Salas, all rights reserved

I wrote a first and then second draft in January and haven’t had a chance to look at it since then. It’s odd reading something I wrote but haven’t looked at all that much. Even though it’s only a couple of months old, it feels like I’m reading someone else’s words. Certainly helps me see where I might add a bit more magic to this poem. Oh well.

Please take a few minutes to see what the rest of the group accomplished. There are some miraculous poems here!

I am beginning to despise LiveJournal. The entire second half of my post keeps disappearing and reappearing. All because I went in to make my links more post-specific. I’m pulling out my hair now. For the third time, and now we’ll just keep it bare bones, here are links to the other rondeau redoublés.

Kelly Fineman

Tanita Davis

Sara Lewis Holmes

Andromeda Jazmon

Liz Garton Scanlon

Tricia Stohr-Hunt, our seventh member, didn’t do a rondeau redoublé (don’t you hate it when real life gets in the way of things), but she was a crucial part of the group process, part of the safety net that makes it both more and less scary to take part in these poetry challenges!

Don’t forget to stop by this week’s Poetry Friday Roundup, too!

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