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Rondels, Roundels and Rondeaux

Rondels, Roundels and Rondeaux These are poetic forms similar to villanelles, with refrains (repeated lines) and sometimes double refrains. Rondel: Merciles Beaute ("Merciless Beauty") by Geoffrey Chaucer loose translation/interpretation Michael R. Burch Your eyes slay me suddenly; their beauty I cannot sustain, they wound me so, through my heart keen. Unless your words heal me hastily, my heart's wound will remain green; for your eyes slay me suddenly; their beauty I cannot sustain. By all truth, I tell you faithfully that you are of life and death my queen; for at my death this truth shall be seen: your eyes slay me suddenly; their beauty I cannot sustain, they wound me so, through my heart keen. Rondel: Rejection by Geoffrey Chaucer loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch Your beauty from your heart has so erased Pity, that it’s useless to complain; For Pride now holds your mercy by a chain. I'm guiltless, yet my sentence has been cast. I tell you truly, needless now to feign,? Your beauty from your heart has so erased Pity, that it’s useless to complain. Alas, that Nature in your face compassed Such beauty, that no man may hope attain To mercy, though he perish from the pain; Your beauty from your heart has so erased Pity, that it’s useless to complain; For Pride now holds your mercy by a chain. Rondel: Escape by Geoffrey Chaucer loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch Since I’m escaped from Love and yet still fat, I never plan to be in his prison lean; Since I am free, I count it not a bean. He may question me and counter this and that; I care not: I will answer just as I mean. Since I’m escaped from Love and yet still fat, I never plan to be in his prison lean. Love strikes me from his roster, short and flat, And he is struck from my books, just as clean, Forevermore; there is no other mean. Since I’m escaped from Love and yet still fat, I never plan to be in his prison lean; Since I am free, I count it not a bean. Rondel: Your Smiling Mouth by Charles d'Orleans (c. 1394-1465) loose translation/interpretation/modernization Michael R. Burch Your smiling mouth and laughing eyes, bright gray, Your ample breasts and slender arms’ twin chains, Your hands so smooth, each finger straight and plain, Your little feet?please, what more can I say? It is my fetish when you’re far away To muse on these and thus to soothe my pain? Your smiling mouth and laughing eyes, bright gray, Your ample breasts and slender arms’ twin chains. So would I beg you, if I only may, To see such sights as I before have seen, Because my fetish pleases me. Obscene? I’ll be obsessed until my dying day By your sweet smiling mouth and eyes, bright gray, Your ample breasts and slender arms’ twin chains! Oft in My Thought by Charles d'Orleans (c. 1394-1465) loose translation/interpretation/modernization Michael R. Burch So often in my busy mind I sought, Around the advent of the fledgling year, For something pretty that I really ought To give my lady dear; But that sweet thought's been wrested from me, clear, Since death, alas, has sealed her under clay And robbed the world of all that's precious here? God keep her soul, I can no better say. For me to keep my manner and my thought Acceptable, as suits my age's hour? While proving that I never once forgot Her worth? It tests my power! I serve her now with masses and with prayer; For it would be a shame for me to stray Far from my faith, when my time's drawing near? God keep her soul, I can no better say. Now earthly profits fail, since all is lost And the cost of everything became so dear; Therefore, O Lord, who rules the higher host, Take my good deeds, as many as there are, And crown her, Lord, above in your bright sphere, As heaven's truest maid! And may I say: Most good, most fair, most likely to bring cheer? God keep her soul, I can no better say. When I praise her, or hear her praises raised, I recall how recently she brought me pleasure; Then my heart floods like an overflowing bay And makes me wish to dress for my own bier? God keep her soul, I can no better say. Villanelle: The Divide by Michael R. Burch The sea was not salt the first tide ... was man born to sorrow that first day, with the moon?a pale beacon across the Divide, the brighter for longing, an object denied? the tug at his heart's pink, bourgeoning clay? The sea was not salt the first tide ... but grew bitter, bitter?man's torrents supplied. The bride of their longing?forever astray, her shield a cold beacon across the Divide, flashing pale signals: Decide. Decide. Choose me, or His Brightness, I will not stay. The sea was not salt the first tide ... imploring her, ebbing: Abide, abide. The silver fish flash there, the manatees gray. The moon, a pale beacon across the Divide, has taught us to seek Love's concealed side: the dark face of longing, the poets say. The sea was not salt the first tide ... the moon a pale beacon across the Divide. Villanelle: Ordinary Love by Michael R. Burch Indescribable?our love?and still we say with eyes averted, turning out the light, "I love you," in the ordinary way and tug the coverlet where once we lay, all suntanned limbs entangled, shivering, white ... indescribably in love. Or so we say. Your hair's blonde thicket now is tangle-gray; you turn your back; you murmur to the night, "I love you," in the ordinary way. Beneath the sheets our hands and feet would stray to warm ourselves. We do not touch despite a love so indescribable. We say we're older now, that "love" has had its day. But that which Love once countenanced, delight, still makes you indescribable. I say, "I love you," in the ordinary way. Keywords/Tags: rondel, roundel, rondeau, villanelle, refrain, repetition, poetic form, poetics, poetic expression, romance, romantic, love, Chaucer, Orleans, art, beauty, mercy, merciless, words, heart, hearts, pity, pride, prison

Copyright © | Year Posted 2020




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