POETIC BLOOMINGS is a Phoenix Rising Poetry Guild site established in May 2011 to nurture and inspire the creative spirit.

IN-FORM POET – Rime Couée

This past week we were introduced to the Rime Couée  by our Master “Formsmith,” RJ Clarken. Marie and I were so intrigued by it, we’re putting it up for a closer look.

This form is usually used as a portion of  longer poems, but the style had seduced the French and they named it Rime Couée and felt that it could stand on its own. Really, though, it was Robert Burns, a Scotsman who used it extensively in his poetry.

It’s a single stanza that’s six lines long. The syllable count is 8-8-8-6-8-6 or 8-8-6-8-8-6.  The rhyme scheme is usually a-a-a-b-a-b.  A scheme of: a-a-b-a-a-b is also acceptable.

Marie’s Rime Couée:

Do Unto Others

This whole “do unto others” thing
is not a whim – is not a fling
is not somebody’s joke.
Avert the words that bite or sting.
Embrace forgiveness, let love ring.
Make light your neighbor’s yoke.

Walt’s Rime Couée:


The welcome mat is always out,
and heart-felt comments carry clout,
so this is what it’s all about.
Encouraging, not abusive,
we love to read your words, no doubt.
We are all-inclusive!

Thanks RJ for this “new” look at a long-standing form!

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84 thoughts on “IN-FORM POET – Rime Couée

  1. How strange! I just tried out this form on my blog.


  2. This looks appealing. You both introduced this form with such poise and beauty and wisdom. thank-you~


    When I try my hand at writing,
    My ideas seem so inviting!
    Then I fear they all start fighting,
    To be the one I choose.
    One flame only I am lighting;
    The others I refuse.

  4. Stolen Song

    She used to laugh. She used to sing.
    A wondrous joy her voice would bring.
    On every note all others cling.
    Now something has gone wrong.
    It seemed that she lost everything
    when someone stole her song.

    By Michael Grove

  5. Always in My Heart

    Seasons will come and seasons go.
    Thru sunshine rain or whitest snow,
    A seed to sow, let’s make it grow.
    I’ll always do my part.
    There’s something that you need to know.
    You’re always in my heart.

    By Michael Grove

  6. ~For my Marine


    To say goodbye will be so hard.
    I’m not the type to disregard
    a love that we’ve been moving toward
    the span of both our lives.
    So, I’ll stand in the Navy yard
    and wave with all the wives.

  7. I wrote a Burns stanza a while ago, but hadn’t realised it was a Rime Couée.


    Another world is the world of dreams
    where nothing can be quite what it seems
    reality smashed to smithereens
    Take your head from the sand,
    wake up, stir the blood in your veins
    and your world will expand.

    Having read RJ’s rime, I was trying to use the form for my We Write Poems contribution this week, but the sense of it went awry and I abandoned the a-a-a-b-a-b. scheme.

  8. Very interesting form. Thanks for introducing me to it!

  9. Henrietta Choplin on said:

    …..Oh, such lovely, sensitive words, Walt and Marie!

  10. Hi guys! Wow! This is such coolness – and such marvelous poems using the form!!!

    I promise to take another try at the form later today.

    I just wanted to note that another version of the six-lined Rime Couée is the rhyme scheme of aabaab (which you listed above) with a syllable count of 8-8-6-8-8-6. (That’s per The Poets Garret – http://www.thepoetsgarret.com/sestet/couee.html) and that’s the version of the form I used the other day on Poquessing Creek.


  11. Andrew Kreider on said:


    Welcome, valued customer! It’s
    been three thousand eighteen minutes
    since your last transaction, which fits
    your profile perfectly!
    I also know you’re out of grits:
    go back, they’re in aisle three…

  12. ‘Invitation Accepted!’

    Oh let me sing this clear and loud,
    As grateful tears my vision cloud,
    I am so psyched to join this crowd,
    So talented and fun,
    Inspired by you I’m standing proud,
    My journey has begun!

  13. Great Scot!

    The journey through the heart I’ve learned
    at the very page of Bard Burns,
    to emulate him, this I yearn.
    Great Scot in ev’ry way,
    I read his words at ev’ry turn
    to keep my soul at bay!

  14. Okay – here’s my attempt at using the Rime Couée version posted above (a wee aphorism):

    <b<No Fear

    It’s unintentional, but I
    admit I hate to be up high
    and also, I sure hate to fly.
    I refuse to give in
    to phobias, and here is why:
    ‘cause I won’t let fear win.


  15. hehe – Walt … you just made my day! ♥

  16. Never let fear win, RJ! The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. That, and crashing to the ground in a fiery metal heap of airplane debris!

    Anyway, here is my attempt at a Rime Couee:

  17. Breakfast

    Every day the morning birds bring
    me early smiles, hearing them sing
    to greet a new day as they wing
    their way to my suet
    and seed feeder, making it swing
    as they cling onto it.


    When first I read my work aloud
    Exposed myself before a crowd
    I do admit to feeling cowed
    Afraid that I might die
    Before I learned, might I be proud
    Might my poems help me to fly

    Now it’s three years on and I know
    There is nothing like the show
    To speak my poems helps me grow
    And makes me brave enough
    To keep writing hard, to not slow
    I’m a poet and as such am tough


  19. Thank you so much Hen, Janet and Sara – it was life-altering and something I’ve been neglecting of late I just realized; no wonder I’ve been in such a funk … back to the mic for me!

  20. I would never expect to find
    in the far outskirts of my mind
    thoughts of the unlikeliest kind
    as Colorado beach,
    but like rare gems are often mined
    inspiration’s in reach.

    The photo that goes with it is on my blog.

  21. Henrietta Choplin on said:

    Lovely, Connie. I also enjoyed reading a snippet of your profile; thank you. Hen

  22. rime coueé for Poetic Bloomings

    They make me cringe, these syllables;
    I count until my hands are full.
    My muddle’s inexplicable:
    I know my one-two-threes!
    But it would take a miracle
    to make me good at these.

  23. What fun! This was just what I needed to get back into a writing frame of mind. Thanks, Marie & Walt!

    Here’s my attempt:


    I thought that I would never find
    a class that left MY wit behind,
    but now my ego’s in a bind.
    Oh, Quantum, you’re no joke.
    I hope your ways will fill my mind
    sometime before I croak.

  24. To the solemn grandmother

    No laugh is like yours.  It begins
    around your stumpy ankles, then
    lifts your belly, and goads your chin
    to defy gravity
    and launch such loud joy that you send
    crows flapping for safety.

    (I decided I wasn’t giving the form a fair shake, and thought it might suit me better less metered)
    This is also a response to a wonderful photo prompt at the Poetry Jam.  

  25. Still a fight every step of the way for me to force thoughts into form, but liking and needing the exercise. Thanks for the motivation!

    Autumn Escape

    Mountain stream races past flat rocks,
    quiet replaces urgent clocks –
    time taken to breathe life, take stock.
    Fall’s fire hangs loose from trees,
    forest paths and dogs wait for walks,
    campfire smoke on the breeze.

  26. Pingback: Form Practice | Awakened Words

  27. When the Season Passes

    We planted our love in the spring,
    Hearts flying high on true love’s wing,
    But time’s march is a constant thing;
    Greens faded into brown.
    There is no song for us to sing
    Since love came crashing down.

  28. Home Remedy

    My husband has a nasty cold;
    Still he ignores medicines sold,
    Hot showers, soups, the manifold
    Untried cures remaining.
    His solitary treatment holds
    With long, loud complaining.

    I’m playing with forms while the coughing ensues. When daddy ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy;).

  29. Sweet Lips

    I like a kiss to be real sweet.
    To start in the eyes and to meet
    at the lips and beyond the heat
    of the single moment.
    Subtle, shy, quietly upbeat
    lingering after sent.

  30. Pingback: Remember Yesterday | Scarring Words

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