General Poetry posted February 21, 2019

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Rondeau Redouble

Gaudeamus Igitur

by kiwisteveh

Rhyming Poetry Contest Contest Winner 

I'm growing old it seems; the stairs are steeper;
I'll take the elevator if I may.
My doctor says it's time I had a beeper;
my hair is turning fifty shades of grey.

When I was young, I'd join each wild foray --
I'd never be a layabout or sleeper.
But now I cannot dance the night away.
I'm growing old, it seems; the stairs are steeper.

Each girl I met, well, off her feet I'd sweep her,
but now my bones all creak as they decay.
I used to be a limber, light-foot leaper --
I'll take the elevator if I may.

A lassie helped me cross the street today,
but ran off when I asked if I could keep her,
I only needed help to find my way;
my doctor says it's time I had a beeper.

I have a card so I can buy things cheaper,
a bus-pass if I need to get away,
but oh, the hole I'm in is sinking deeper!
My hair is turning fifty shades of grey.

This life no longer is a cabaret,
and though I've never been that kind of weeper,
it's growing nearer to my Judgement Day.
I'll have to fight him off, that grim old Reaper --
I'm growing old, it seems...


Rhyming Poetry Contest
Contest Winner


The Rondeau Redouble is a more complex form of the Rondeau. It is written on two rhymes, but in five stanzas of four lines each and one of five lines. Each of the first four lines (stanza 1) get individually repeated in turn once by becoming successively the respective fourth lines of stanzas 2, 3, 4, & 5; and the first part of the first line is repeated as a short fifth line to conclude the sixth stanza. This can be represented as - A1,B1,A2,B2 - b,a,b,A1 - a,b,a,B1 - b,a,b,A2 - a,b,a,B2 - b,a,b,a,(A1).

The tone of the poem may be serious, but particularly these days has a comic or ironic twist. For a perfect example, look up Wendy Cope's "Rondeau Redouble" which begins "There are so many kinds of awful men..."

The difficulty for the poet is that each rhyme is repeated ten times in all. You will see that I have pretty well exhausted the whole gamut of rhymes for 'steeper' in this poem.

The title is a Latin phrase translated as "Let us rejoice, therefore..." It is a quote taken from an old school song (still sung occasionally when I was at school many moons ago!) The full first line is "Gaudeamus igitur, iuvenes dum sumus" (Let us rejoice therefore, while we are young."
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