Whittled Words – Rondeau 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:




Since I love French forms, it came as a surprise to me that I have not covered the Rondeau on this blog, yet. As with other French forms, there is an element of rhyming and repetition in the Rondeau. In fact, the Rondeau is related to the triolet–one of my favorites.

The Rondeau is comprised of 15 lines across 3 stanzas with the first word or phrase from the first line represented as a refrain (R) and a rhyme scheme of 2 rhymes throughout (A and B). There is no stipulated meter. The rhyme and refrain scheme looks like this:


A (R)




The A and B lines are usually 8 or 10 syllables in length. The refrain is usually 1 to 3 words (or so).




Examples of Rondeau Poems:



by Robert Lee Brewer



The mother thinks she is killing her son
with his shampoo–his hair coming undone
in her hands over time. He feels no pain
says the son. But she knows he’ll feel again
the loss of his dad always on the run.

The mother remembers the morning sun
slanting on a messy bed of just one.
No note or cash–she remembers the pain.
The mother thinks

there is something she could have done. Her son
was not wanted by his dad. “No more fun,”
he said after learning. Heartbreaking pain
when instead of joy, he often complained
of her weight gain. Then, of course, he was gone,
the mother thinks.



By John McCrae


In Flanders fields the poppies blow
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.



By Brad Osborne

The Corps is where I found my breed

Perception changed, potential freed

A band of brothers sure and true

Given the hardest things to do

Success at all costs, we agreed

Semper Fidelis our spoken creed

For this tenet we’d willing bleed

Blood-striped trousers of royal blue

The Corps

Greatest measure of what we believed

To give our life if that be the need

Camaraderie to see us through

A promised grave with Arlington view

And statues of a rearing steed

The Corps



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 Rondeau poem. Thanks for reading!




10 Responses to “Whittled Words – Rondeau Poem”
  1. Francisco Bravo Cabrera says:

    Great post and a most beautiful poem to one of the greatest fighting forces on Earth. Semper Fi my friend!

  2. jonicaggiano says:

    Wow that is a beautiful poem Brad. I love the rhythm of this piece. Truly great poetry. Thank you for your service by the way. I know several marines all great folks, and wonderful neighbors.

    I always look forward to this post. I love the examples you used. Nicely done Brad and really lovely tribute to our brave marines.

    Love and hugs to you Brad as always. ❤️💕🎊🤗Jonikins

  3. beth says:

    intense poem, brad!

  4. Jim Borden says:

    I like this style of poem as well, and you have done it, and the Marines, honor with the words you have chosen. Well done, Brad!

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