Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A rondeau's harder than it looks

If you suspect there's a bit of a mountain theme going here, you're right. I was thinking about submitting something for this rondeau assignment (or challenge) posted by Grace for the writers' group Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, and mountains seemed like a better subject for poetry than my first choice, which was mushy stuff about owning a rescued dog.

Photo by Richard Schear
In a couple of weeks my blogging pal, Mara, of Weighty Matters, is coming to Alberta from The Netherlands. I have offered to show her the Canadian Rockies. My husband will be busy, so it will be just us girls: Mara, Kay, and Lindy, a short-legged, pleasantly plump Golden Retriever.

I haven't written a poem for about 30 years, or however long ago 1980 was, so I'm begging everyone's indulgence. I've stretched the phrase "poetic license" to new lengths, that's for sure. My mind just can't seem to take anything very seriously today, so here is some doggerel in rondeau form.

A rondeau's harder than it looks
In English literature books.
Prob'ly because it's really French
Which only really rhymes with stench
And not aromas by French cooks.

Internet photo
The first verse has five lines, no more,
The second one has only four.
And then there's six for number three.
A rondeau's hard.

The third one looks much like the first
Except it's actually much worse
Because the rhyming pattern is
Again another kind of biz
Which makes my brain threaten to burst.
A rondeau's hard.


At Lake Louise the water blue
Is often turquoise, it is true,
Yet an old-time gov’nor gen’ral
Said the color’s that of em’rald
Which is a very diff’rent hue.

They named the lake after his wife
Which made him happy all his life:
So that he no more disputed
At Lake Louise.

His wife, a princess royal was
Queen Victoria a daughter of.
The glacier above the lake
Was named Victoria for her sake
At Lake Louise.

On mountains high grows edelweiss
Which we all know is very nice —
Alpine leontopodium
Relieves the climber’s tedium
When looking for it once or thrice.

However, climbers must take care
When looking for it ev’rywhere
And not forget the rule of thumb
On mountains high:

Watch where you step and do not look
In every cranny, space or nook
To find the lovely edelweiss,
You’ll have no chance for thinking twice
On mountains high.
Edelweiss, leontopodium alpinus, doesn't grow wild in the Canadian Rockies. It is a European alpine plant.


Seasons said...

Funny, then informative, then beautiful....why be self-critical? Kay, these poems are really okay! Thanks for sharing the pictures too.

Fran said...

Very clever, well done xxx

One said...

Have fun at the Canadian Rockies.

Great poem.

Mike Patrick said...

I'm laughing so hard I almost fell out of the chair. I was feeling pretty good about sweating through one rondeau, and you, not having written a poem in thirty years, only knock out three because you are too involved in you dog. Lindy is beautiful by the way. You may have a cottage industry renting her out if she influences poetry like this. Wonderful.

how to gain muscle quickly said...

well done... very informative and slightly funny...

Kay L. Davies said...

@ Mike Patrick — Thanks, Mike. I am getting a laugh out of the next comment which says "slightly funny"!
— K

Mr. Walker said...

I liked them all. Brava for writing three. I like the first one best, because it's funny and it's true - rondeau's are hard.


Lily Hydrangea said...

Nice job Kay! You do have a way with words.
I've always wondered what Edelweiss looked like too.

nana_ang_poppaphil said...

Love your way with words, you have done well!

Keep going.

Gattina said...

Hehehe ! love your poetry, usually poemes are boring me. How nice that you will meet Mara and show here a bit of your country !

PerthDailyPhoto said...

Blooming brilliant!!

Jinksy said...

What a treasure trove- emerald lake and all! Love you quirky rhymes and a I give you a gold medal for Alpine Leontopodium!!♥

Mara said...

Now I definitely can't wait to see it all for myself (apart from the Edelweiss of course). I am actually thinking of taking a second camera with me!

Titus said...

I have to say my heart's with the first one! Especially the use of 'stench'.

Cezar and Léia said...

So beautiful poem you are very talented! :)

Laurie Kolp said...

I totally agree... rondeaus are difficult to write! I especially like the second one.

California Ink in Motion said...

Well crafted! Love the description you offered. The first one brought a smile. Well done!

Kerry O'Connor said...

Bravo! This form likes you ;)
You have done wonders with it.

Thank you for sharing your work on Real Toads.

jabblog said...

Oh, bravo, Kay (or is it Brava??) Whatever, I take my hat off to you and wish you much pleasure and enjoyment when Mara comes to visit:-)

Cad said...

Triple whammy! Full marks. :)

Anonymous said...

A B S O L U T E L Y love them!!! I have no idea if they follow the rules for rondeaus (I still haven't attempted one yet), but they are fantastic! If I ever decide to do something about rondeaus over at the Gooseberry Garden I would so LOVE to use the first of the three as an example - with your permission, of course? (Have no idea when that will be - it's kind of a bit further on in the poetic progression for me, but it is a serious question, so please think about it.)

Give Lindy loads of cuddles for me (and Siri, my Golden Retriever sister) and enjoy your friends visit!

Peter Goulding said...

We nearly went to Lake Louise last year. Makes me want to go even more now.
Keep writing!!

Sherry Blue Sky said...

YOU are HILARIOUS! "Oh I havent written in thirty years, so sorry," then you offer three glorious and perfect gems. God help us when your "writer's block" lifts- we will be too intimidated to write at all:)

Sherry Blue Sky said...

p.s. Lindy looks EXACTLY like my Jasmine.