Whittled Words – Catena Rondo Poem

 

 

Welcome to the weekly series, Whittled Words. A series highlighting the innumerable types and styles of poetry to challenge any creative wordsmith. This week’s selection:

 

CATENA RONDO POEM

 

I found the Catena Rondo in Robin Skelton’s, The Shapes of Our Singing‘, an anthology of poetic forms. In fact, Skelton created the form, and it’s a lot of fun. He took the name from ‘catena’, which means chain, and connected it with ‘rondo’, which means circle. And the poem is a bit of a ‘chain circle’, because of its intense repetition within stanzas and within the poem as a whole.

 

Catena Rondo Form:

 

  • The poem is comprised of a variable number of quatrains
  • Each quatrain has a rhyme pattern of abba
  • The first line of each quatrain is also the final line of the quatrain
  • The second line of each quatrain is the first line of the next quatrain
  • The final quatrain should repeat the first quatrain word for word
  • There are no rules for meter, syllables, or subject matter. Just a lot of rhyming refrains.

 

Examples of Catena Rondo Poems:

 

WINDOW SHOPPING ON PAPER

by RJ CLARKEN

 

I’m sitting here, flipping through a catalog.
I’m wondering, what should I buy?
Would I rock that blouse? It is to die!
I’m sitting here, flipping through a catalog.

I’m wondering, what should I buy?
A purse? Some jeans? Those shoes?! A gift,
which really might help my spirits lift.
I’m wondering, what should I buy?

A purse? Some jeans? Those shoes?! A gift?
Maybe just exercise some true self-restraint.
Well, being that good ain’t me. No it ain’t.
A purse? Some jeans? Those shoes?! A gift!

Maybe just exercise some self-restraint.
Well, lots of ideas right now fill my mind,
not the least of which is to buy all that I find!
Maybe just exercise some self-restraint.

Well, lots of ideas right now fill my mind.
I’m sitting here, flipping through a catalog
and I feel like my head’s in a fog.
Well, lots of ideas right now fill my mind.

I’m sitting here, flipping through a catalog
I’m wondering, what should I buy?
Would I rock that blouse? It is to die!
I’m sitting here, flipping through a catalog

 

VERY EARLY ON MAIN

by Taylor Graham

Just us on sidewalk in a waking town.
My dog, exploratory, pulls me east
past bakery (oh that after-whiff of yeast!).
Just us on sidewalk in a waking town,

my dog exploratory pulls me east –
gallery and oyster steamer, candle store –
a crack in pavement – one quick sniff before
my dog, exploratory, pulls me east.

Gallery and oyster steamer, candle store
with all the scents of spring waxing abloom,
and undertones of earth, a dog’s perfume.
Gallery and oyster steamer, candle store

with all the scents of spring waxing abloom
(just us on sidewalk). In a waking town
a dog’s nose reads the news that’s coming down
with all the scents of spring waxing abloom.

Just us on sidewalk. In a waking town
my dog, exploratory, pulls me east
past bakery (oh, that after-whiff of yeast!).
The sidewalk’s empty in a waking town.

 

ANOTHER YEAR

by Brad Osborne

Calendar page turns, gone now another year

Yet there remains a youth in me to burn

Important things in this life yet to learn

Calendar page turns, gone now another year

 

Yet there remains a youth in me to burn

Great deeds that yet linger in the undone

Greater prizes competed for, not won

Yet there remains a youth in me to burn

 

Great deeds that yet linger in the undone

A small kindness given by kinder heart

Kindling from which another’s hope will start

Great deeds that yet linger in the undone

 

A small kindness given by kinder heart

Calendar page turns, gone now another year

The passing of time on this earthly sphere

A small kindness given by kinder heart

 

Calendar page turns, gone now another year

Yet there remains a youth in me to burn

Important things in this life yet to learn

Calendar page turns, gone now another year

 

 

 

I hope you have enjoyed this entry to the series, Whittled Words. I look forward to your comments, and if you dare, maybe share your own Catena Rondo poem. Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

Comments
16 Responses to “Whittled Words – Catena Rondo Poem”
  1. Paul Szlosek says:

    Thanks, Brad, for introducing me to the Catena Rondo. What a fun poetry form!

    • Brad Osborne says:

      Thank you Paul! I see you are obsessed with style and form as much as I am. I have followed you in the hopes of reading more about your own creative styles and your masterful poetry. I would love to highlight one of your own inventions in this weekly series. Thanks for the support!

  2. Harley Unhinged says:

    As usual, I am such a fan of your Whittled Words posts. I love learning from you 🖤❤

  3. Jim Borden says:

    I like how each quatrain is connected to the next, and then it is brought full circle at the end. Another job well done!

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  1. […] A Catena Rondo Poem. […]

  2. […] [Catena Rondo]A tale passed down by village eldersA dragon that killed my fatherSet to slay, fueled by anger overA tale passed down by village elders […]



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