Rondeau Rant


This month’s round of Ethical ELA prompts was a welcome distraction in the midst of increasingly distressing news and looming decisions about the start of the school year. Mo Daley and Tracie McCormick started participants off with a rondeau prompt.  As they explained, “The rondeau is a French poetic form composed of a rhyming quintet, quatrain, and sestet. The rentrement, or refrain, is a repeating line throughout. A rondeau usually has 8 syllables per line and refrains of 4 syllables. The rhyme scheme is AABBA AABR AABBAR. ”

I’m not big on name-calling, but these days my temper is fraying. I’m so tired of being angry and working to remain civil with people who simply make me crazy. I’m also heartily sick of people not wearing masks.

Wear Your Mask!

Don’t listen when the asses bray
about their rights taken away.
Ignorant choices just prolong
the upward trend–dread Covid’s song.
A mask is a small price to pay.

There really is no other way
to stem the tide without delay.
So wash your hands, avoid the throng
and wear your mask.

My temper has begun to fray
when faced with mask-less fools each day.
The evidence is clear and strong:
Mask naysayers are deadly wrong.
Reject this toxic game they play–

©Molly Hogan, 2020

Many who oppose masks refer to mask wearers as “sheep.” (I won’t tell you what I call them in the privacy of my home.) My recent non-verbal response to their derisive refrain of “Don’t be a sheep!” was to order masks made from this fabric:


These will probably be the first masks I’ll look forward to wearing!

This week’s Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted by the talented and prolific Margaret Simon at her blog, Reflections on the Teche. Margaret dove into some poetry work last week and is sharing some quotes about what poetry is. She’s collecting ideas from participants and hoping to create a collaborative poem. Stop on by and add your thoughts about poetry to the comments.


29 thoughts on “Rondeau Rant

  1. cbferris says:

    Molly: I share your sentiments. Well put! Cheryl

    On Thu, Jul 23, 2020, 6:46 PM Nix the comfort zone wrote:

    > mbhmaine posted: ” This month’s round of Ethical ELA prompts was a welcome > distraction in the midst of increasingly distressing news and looming > decisions about the start of the school year. Mo Daley and Tracie McCormick > started participants off with a rondeau prompt. As” >

    Liked by 1 person


    baaaa ha ha ha ha! True, every word. I am so tired of being angry and anxious. We definitely have cabin fever in my house–even though we do go outside. We’re just sick of each other at a stage of life we are all supposed to be more independent from each other. I do love the insistence of your poem…the tongue-in-cheek-but-not-really tone. You found a way to smile, despite the frustration. I admire that!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. margaretsmn says:

    Rant on! I love how you took such a formal form and created this demand of a poem out of it. I was able to put together one poem in this week’s prompts. This form was not it. I have written down the rules, but that’s all. And I really want to write a ghazal. So many forms, so few hours of inspiration…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Fran Haley says:

    I. LOVE. IT! From the form, your humor even in the face of frustration at the seriousness of the situation, to the darling sheep (in this case!) on the mask. Your rondeau rant is so well-rendered, Molly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Thanks, Fran! I’m not sure I was feeling much humor when I wrote this. I’m so aggravated these days! (but I’m still looking forward to my new masks!)


  5. Tabatha says:

    I love the sass of your sheep mask 🙂 You did a great job with your rondeau — it flows very smoothly.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. janicescully says:

    I share your feelings so well expressed in your rondeau. Looking for forms to try this week, I just read about this one, so it’s nice to see one here. Fools and asses? The shoe fits.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. maryleehahn says:

    PREACH!! You nailed every bit of this — form AND message!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love this, Molly! I wish we could just play it over the loudspeaker in every store!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Thanks, Laura. I keep telling my husband I’m going to lose it someday soon in a store and start yelling about mask wearing. A loudspeaker might be a better option!


  9. laurashovan222 says:

    This is perfect, Molly. I love the repeat of “And wear your mask!” I hope you share this one widely.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. cvarsalona says:

    YES! I am a devout mask-wearer and don’t understand the woe-is-me attitude of those who don’t wear one. Well done, Molly!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Gail Aldous says:

    Molly, your rondeau flows like a song and you make this challenging form look easy to write! Like the effect of your repetition of “mask.” I HEAR your words and agree. Love “don’t listen when the asses bray.” Ordering a sheep mask is perfect revenge! Thank you, I so needed this.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Fantastic poem-rant, I hear you and agree with you!!! And such a rhythmic rant, I love it, and your sheep fabric too, thanks Molly!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Well done, Molly! You’ve made this tricky form seem effortless, and you know I heartily approve of your message!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Paul says:

    Barbed messages that are clever and playful, like this one, can sometimes earn listening audiences where dry fact would fail. Mission accomplished, I reckon.

    Liked by 1 person

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