Glossary of Poetic Terms
Originating in France, a mainly octosyllabic poem consisting of between 10 and 15 lines and three stanzas. It has only two rhymes, with the opening words used twice as an unrhyming refrain at the end of the second and third stanzas. The 10-line version rhymes ABBAABc ABBAc (where the lower-case “c” stands for the refrain). The 15-line version often rhymes AABBA AABc AABAc. Geoffrey Chaucer’s “Now welcome, summer” at the close of The Parlement of Fowls is an example of a 13-line rondeau.
A rondeau redoublé consists of six quatrains using two rhymes. The first quatrain consists of four refrain lines that are used, in sequence, as the last lines of the next four quatrains, and a phrase from the first refrain is repeated as a tail at the end of the final stanza. See Dorothy Parker’s “Roudeau Redoublé (and Scarcely Worth the Trouble at That).”