Whittled Words – Catena Rondo Poem



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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:

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CATENA RONDO POEM

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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.

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Examples of Catena Rondo Poems:

 

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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

 

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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.

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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

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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!

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Comments
10 Responses to “Whittled Words – Catena Rondo Poem”
  1. beth says:

    I like this form, very lyrical, a song waiting to happen

  2. Like the lyrics to a song…quite nice I would say, cheers my friend!

  3. Jim Borden says:

    I like this style; it really helps to get the message of the poem across with its repetition. it reminds me of the circle of life…

  4. kristianw84 says:

    These lines flow so lyrically across the page! Well done!!

  5. jonicaggiano says:

    I really like this style of poetry, it is a lot like a song. I might have to give this a try.

    “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”

    Beautifully written Brad – Hope all is well with you. Sending love always, Jonikens xoxoxox

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