Language Is A Virus

Poetry Guide: Rondelet


The Rondelet is a brief French form of poetry. It consists of one stanza, made up of seven lines. It contains a refrain, a strict rhyme scheme and a distinct meter pattern.

The word is from the diminutive of rondel, meaning round. This is the basic structure:

Line 1 :: A -- four syllables
Line 2 :: b -- eight syllables
Line 3 :: A -- repeat of line one
Line 4 :: a -- eight syllables
Line 5 :: b -- eight syllables
Line 6 :: b -- eight syllables
Line 7 :: A -- repeat of line one

The refrained lines should contain the same words, however - substitution or different use of punctuation on the lines has been common.

Other uses

In addition to being a literary term, Rondelet is also the name of an annual formal dance at Rice University, traditionally held in the spring.