Monday, February 20, 2017


English 352, the Forms of Poetry class I teach at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, is up to the part of the semester where we talk about repeating forms.

Today, we talked about the rondeau. We looked at two famous examples of the form--Paul Laurence Dunbar's "We Wear the Mask" and "In Flanders Fields" by Lt. John McCrae.

Together, we wrote a semi-scandalous rondeau:

Behind Closed Doors: Apt 2B

Behind closed doors, the lovers lie
in tangled bed sheets, getting high
forgetting all their debts and cares
and acting like they're millionaires--
not caring if they live or die.

Between the sheets, they are not shy:
there's nothing that these two won't try.
They act as if their life's a dare
behind closed doors.

The neighbors hear their passion-cries
and aggravated, yell out "Why!"
"The noise these two make isn't fair--
for heaven's sake, there's kids out here!"
But they don't care, off in the sky
behind closed doors.

The next session, we'll have an in-class rondeau contest, with the results to be posted here.