AskDefine | Define rondelet

Dictionary Definition

rondelet n : a shorter form of rondeau

Extensive Definition

The Rondelet (or roundelay) is a brief French form of poetry. It consists of one stanza, made up of seven lines. It contains a refrain, a strict rhyme scheme and a distinct meter pattern.
The word is from the diminutive of rondel, meaning round. This is the basic structure:
Line 1 :: A -- four syllables Line 2 :: b -- eight syllables Line 3 :: A -- repeat of line one Line 4 :: a -- eight syllables Line 5 :: b -- eight syllables Line 6 :: b -- eight syllables Line 7 :: A -- repeat of line one
The refrained lines should contain the same words, however - substitution or different use of punctuation on the lines has been common.
The term originates from late middle English: from Old French rondelet, from rondel. The change in ending was due to association with the final syllable of virelay.
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