A mainly octosyllabic poem consisting of between ten and fifteen lines, having only two rhymes and with the opening words used twice as an unrhyming refrain at the end of the second and third stanzas. The ten-line version rhymes abbaabC abbaC (where the capital C stands for the refrain). The fifteen-line version often rhymes aabba aabC aabbaC. Chaucer's "Now welcome, summer" at the close of The Parlement of Fowls is an example of a thirteen-line rondeau.


  • Rondeau redoublé: five quatrains and a closing quintain, 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 the last line of the closing quintain is a phrase from the first refrain. Dorothy Parker has a delightful poem entitled after the form itself, and keeping strictly to its very taxing rules.

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