The Rondelet is a brief French form with a strict structure and rhyming pattern. It consists of one stanza of seven lines. This is known as a single septet. The lines consist of two rhymes and one refrain, in the pattern: AbAabbA.

The capital letters (A) are the refrains (a repeated line), the lower case (a) rhymes with (A) and the lower case (b) lines all rhyme with each other.

The refrain (repeated line) has four syllables (tetrasyllabic or dimeter) and the other lines are twice as long with eight syllables (octasyllabic or tetrameter).

In simple terms the form is as follows:

Line 1: 4 syllables – the refrain
Line 2: 8 syllables
Line 3: repeat line 1
Line 4: 8 syllables – rhymes with line 1
Line 5: 8 syllables – rhymes with line 2
Line 6: 8 syllables – rhymes with lines 2 and 5
Line 7: repeat line 1

In the example the Roundlet structure is as follows:

Line 1: I yearn, I burn
Line 2: for your embraces forever
Line 3: I yearn, I burn
Line 4: I’ve nothing to give in return,
Line 5: but an undying love. However,
Line 6: it will kill you, for, whatever
Line 7: I yearn, I burn.

Our example is is written by community member, Mayank ǀ @flightofpoesy.


For more examples of poems written using this form search the hashtag #Rondelet on Instagram, or visit our community here.

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