Rondelet: Poetry Challenge


Odilon Redon,  La Voile jaune (The Yellow Sail). Image courtesy of the Indianapolis Museum of Art.


(1.) The Refugees


We ached for home,

starting our journey, looking back

we ached for home

though forced to flee, and forced to roam

in our red boat, we had to tack

the golden sail, the night loomed black

we ached for home


(2.) The Female Pirates


With sparkling jewels

We set sail upon the ocean

With sparking jewels

We challenged men, we broke the rules,

Made our plans, set them in motion

Women! We caused a commotion

With sparkling jewels


These two poems are in response to Jane Dougherty’s Poetry Challenge #37. For this challenge, we were to write a rondelet using the image above, Odilon Redon’s La Voile jaune (The Yellow Sail) and the word “journey.” This is a new form for me. Both of these poems are inspired by the picture, but only the first one uses the word “journey.”  A rondelet is a 7-line poem (septet) with two rhymes and a repeated refrain. The refrain is 4 syllables; the other lines are 8 syllables. AbAabbA



46 thoughts on “Rondelet: Poetry Challenge

  1. You made this come to life with emotions, Merril. The first one would be a universal longing, full of regret to leave ” home.” The second one has excitement of new beginnings, for brave pirate women! This would take me awhile to compose and yet, your words flow, seemingly effortless!
    Both of my Mom’s parents were immigrants. ❤

    • Thanks, Robin. I’m glad you found the words both meaningful and flowing.
      This was a fun form to work with, even with the restrictions.
      All of my grandparents were immigrants, and apparently one of my grandmothers did witness and hide during a pogrom, but I don’t know any details.

      • Merril, this is a “common bond” which I didn’t know we shared. I have only my Grandma’s naturalization papers, but they both stressed to my brothers and me how “proud” and special they felt to be Americans! 🙂
        My Dad’s family is half Scottish and half British all the way to the Mayflower but my Mom says we are NOT Daughter’s of the American Revolution “material!” 😉 Lol

      • Hahaha. I think there are also Mayflower ancestors on my husband’s side. I’ve never quite understood that snobbery (perhaps because I’ve read enough early American historical records. ) 🙂 We’re all immigrants if you go back far enough, unless you’re 100% American Indian. (And I guess they, too, migrated here, if you go back thousands of years.)

      • Glad you laughed or chuckled over silly idea of organization which can be not very welcoming nor warm to others! 🙂
        I am sure we have Vikings and Native Americans who would dispute their right of origins which have more time lapsed than coming from England. . . 🙂

  2. Pingback: Poetry challenge Red boat: the entries – Jane Dougherty Writes

  3. It’s amazing how different the two poems can be, each with the same structure and rhythm. The first is so gentle and melencholy, the second just rollicks along! I like them both, but I have to admit to a soft spot for female pirates…

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