Rondeau Poem: Fitting Room Safari
Sized fourteen woman—shops in an exotic land,
a jungle. She eyes the belted waistbands
of size ten tiger striped pants with desire;
snakishly long dresses, tags say six, require
tucked in stomachs, bellies must not expand.
Then, the perfect tube top. Imagine suntanned
shoulders, iced coconut and rum, soft sand.
Size two, bright as a parrot, the entire
top perfectly fits—her arm, sized fourteen.
She searches racks and shelves for contraband.
The saleswoman, size four, doesn’t understand,
but directs her to elephant racks of sapphire
and neon orange striped muu muu type attire.
Full bodied, empty handed, she finds the foodstand.
One salad, size two, please. The price? Size fourteen.
Books on Form and Poetry:
About Form Poetry: The Rondeau
I like to write form poetry because it helps me learn more about language and writing. Although I often write free verse, following a form often helps me refocus and get out of any writing blocks I might have.
The above poem is based on the rondeau form. It can be a bit challenging to follow the form, while keeping the poem true to its nature (in many ways, it is like the challenge of a puzzle or riddle).
The traditional rondeau is made up of three stanzas with thirteen lines, of eight syllables each, and two half lines (refrain), of four syllables each.
1st stanza = A A B B A
2nd stanza = A A B C (C is refrain)
3rd stanza = A A B B A C (C is refrain)
The refrain is supposed to be the same as the beginning of the first line.
Of course, when you look at Fitting Room Safari, you see that it doesn't follow the form completely--but, it is close.