Friday, March 05, 2010

Rondeau redoublé for Poetry Friday

The other day, I posted an explanation of this form, which I tackled as a challenge along with several of my sister poets. For today's Poetry Friday, I'm posting my original poem.

The challenge was to write a rondeau redoublé (my bright idea) that dealt with fresh starts (Liz Garton Scanlon's idea). I started several times to write an upbeat poem about new beginnings, and it never took off. Then one night, I came up with this one, which is, as you will see, not particularly upbeat. But it was a whole poem, and so I kept it.

Rondeau Redoublé
by Kelly Ramsdell Fineman

There's no such thing as a new start.
At least, that's what I think of saying.
I wish things different with all my heart,
That you would go, or I'd be glad you're staying.

Time was, we couldn't bear to be apart;
I couldn't see you go without dismaying.
Now I look forward to your go-awaying.
There's no such thing as a new start.

What was behind my change of heart?
It wasn't sudden, more like a slow fraying,
Our life unraveled, part by part.
At least that's what I think of saying.

I'm not quite certain why I am delaying,
I make up lists, draw up a chart:
Which things are whose, what goes, what's staying.
I wish things different with all my heart.

I cannot stop my memory from replaying
How things between us got their start.
How I would feel the breaking of my heart
When you would go, and I'd be glad you're staying.

I've seen it written losing is an art.
Not one I've mastered, I guess. I keep praying
That losing will grow easier, in part
To suffocate the small voice that keeps saying
There's no such thing.

Cheery, no? What can I say? Dour moods can create poetry, too. The phrase "losing is an art" is borrowed from the wonderful villanelle by Elizabeth Bishop entitled "One Art".

Analysis of form: If you're wondering (and even if you're not), the poem is written in a mix of iambic tetrameter and iambic pentameter, meaning that the lines have either four or five iambic feet each. An iamb is a two-syllable poetic "foot" composed of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed one (taDUM). In keeping with one of the more obscure "requirements" of the rondeau redoublé form, I've alternated a "masculine" and "feminine" ending. A masculine ending is a straight-up iamb; a feminine one has an additional unstressed syllable at the end (taDUMta) - a three-syllable foot also known as an amphibrach.
To read the rondeau redoublé written by my fellow poetry princesses, you may follow these links:

Tanita Davis
Sara Lewis Holmes
Andromeda Jazmon
Laura Purdie Salas
Liz Garton Scanlon

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