Saturday, July 18, 2020


It's time for the July five-day "OpenWrite" on Ethical's challenge was to write a 'rondeau':

The rondeau is a French poetic form composed of a rhyming quintet, quatrain, and sestet.The rentrement, or refrain, is a repeating line throughout. A rondeau usually has 8 syllables per line and refrains of 4 syllables. The rhyme scheme is AABBA AABR AABBAR. 

I ended up writing two...the first, about "now" ... this time of isolation, this pandemic. The second, about John Lewis, who died yesterday; I have been thinking about him all day; I have long admired him. The second rondeau is the one I posted on Ethical ELA. 

Here is my first attempt with a rondeau, about this darn COVID. It is tricky to think 8 syllables and the interesting rhyming structure - and to have rhymes that are not too forced or contrived. Yes, a rondeau is a challenge! I hope you enjoy:

The World Is Paused

Throughout each day, a quiet glows

Empty buildings where no one shows

Very few people on the street

Day in, day out, endless repeat

Anxiety rules and hope goes.


How this virus ends, no one knows

What experts advise, others oppose

Increased cases despite the heat.

The world is paused.


Out to the garden, grab the hose.

Dig up the weeds and clip the rose

Notice the hydrangea so sweet

Stretch, bend, move, and tire my feet

Follow with poetry and prose

The world is paused.


Here is the rondeau that I posted on Ethical ELA, though, to be perfectly honest, I have slipped back into by blog to make edits on this poem, to make it stronger. For example, the original had the refrain "rest in peace, John" but I like the four syllables of "rest in power" better. Yes, thinking and editing a poem can really improve it!

In honor of John Lewis


Holding Black lives precious and dear

John Lewis leaned on hope not fear

“Make good trouble,” he’d always preach

Believing justice within reach

Our nation’s conscience, without peer.


Living through beatings so severe

Peaceful marcher, year after year

Our civil rights he did beseech

Rest in power.


Faith and conviction always near,

He made politics his career

His life is a model to teach,

John Lewis was a Georgia peach,

Inspiring leader to revere.

Rest in power.

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