The rondel is yet another short poetic form that evolved from the songs of medieval French troubadours, using repeated refrain lines to create a circular motion in the poem so that it wraps back around itself. The word “rondel” comes from the French for “little round,” and the French rondel is a fixed form of 13 lines, arranged in two quatrains and a quintet (or in the case of the 14-line rondel prime, two quatrains and a sestet). The first two lines of the first quatrain are the refrain, repeated as the last two lines of the second and third stanzas, and the whole poem uses only two rhymes, following ABba abAB abbaA. The capital letters are the refrains, or repeats.

This past Saturday I had attended our 40th Reunion of the Class of 1974 from my alma mater, Lackawanna High School. The response and celebration was wonderful, and seeing old friends and even meeting some classmates for the first time, forty years after we had graduated made for a memorable night. So, inspired by that milestone, here is my Rondel:


Forty years of memories held dear
as time had found a way to rocket by,
and classmates came to gather with a sigh,
amazed at how quickly that special day drew near.

Familiar faces framed in hues of grey and sere,
wistful eyes that squint to an azure sky,
forty years of memories held dear
as time had found a way to rocket by.

Reunited amidst the hugs and cheers,
friendships that had strengthened by-and-by;
these men and women bound in lifelong ties.
We’ll hold these moments long past leaving here.
Forty years of memories held dear.

© Walter J Wojtanik, 2014