What's Perfection?


The Chaucerian Roundel

Rob Godfrey, a good friend, said, and I quote: “I discovered this delightful form in a porno movie theatre in Warsaw. It's called the Chaucerian Roundel, and, as the name suggests, Chaucer developed it from the medieval French roundel form.

The Chaucerian Roundel has many similarities to the triolet (another medieval French form), being just two lines longer than a triolet, and with the first line repeated twice. The Chaucerian Roundel consists of three stanzas, the first line of the first stanza being repeated as the last line in the second and third stanzas. The rhyme scheme is: Abb abA abbA ('A' being the repeated line), which means you have to find three 'a' rhymes and five 'b' rhymes.

The Chaucerian Roundel is most often written in iambic pentameter or iambic tetrameter, but as far as I understand it the poet is at liberty to use other meters, or indeed to write this form in free meter.”

Thanks to Rob, here’s my attempt at a Chaucerian Roundel.


It's all I want to think about
This thing they call the “female form”
With all its curves so tender, warm

The highs and lows, they make me shout
Their praises! Each a goddess born
It’s all I want to think about

If I was smart and not some lout
I’d find me one and toot my horn
You’d never see me be forlorn
It’s all I want to think about


david coyote
April 4, 2002

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