Wednesday, December 12, 2012

New Poem: Knight's Last Roundelay

I came across the roundelay form quite by accident the other day when I was researching (unsuccessfully) the name of and rules for the form of a quite different kind of poem.  According to www.poetrymagnusopus.com,  the English roundelay, made popular by John Dryden (1631-1700), consists of 24 lines divided into 4 stanzas of 6 lines each, with an AB rhyme scheme throughout, and always ending with the same refrain.  Trochaic tetrameter (SuSuSuSu) is usually used (and I used it) with some lines catalectic (lacking one syllable at the end) for emphasis.  The first two lines of each successive stanza are the third and fourth lines of the previous one.  On the minus side, those are lots of rules!  On the plus side, once I had the refrain I wanted, the rest of the poem kind of wrote itself--with all those repeats, I only really had to come up with 12 out of the 24 lines.  The result was a nice fantasy ballad about an old, retired knight who is called upon for one last quest to save a town from a ravaging dragon.  Yes, The Hobbit must be on my mind...

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