Sunday, April 20, 2014

Poem of the Day: "Rondeau" by Jessie Redmon Fauset

Editor's Note:  This post was supposed to have appeared yesterday.

"Rondeau" by Jessie Redmon Fauset is the Songs of Eretz Poem of the Day and also Poets.org's Poem-A-Day for April 19, 2014.  The poem is in the public domain and therefore legally reprinted here.

Rondeau
by Jessie Redmon Fauset

When April's here and meadows wide
Once more with spring's sweet growths are pied
    I close each book, drop each pursuit,
    And past the brook, no longer mute,
I joyous roam the countryside.

Look, here the violets shy abide
And there the mating robins hide—
    How keen my sense, how acute,
      When April's here!

And list! down where the shimmering tide
Hard by that farthest hill doth glide,
    Rise faint strains from shepherd's flute,
    Pan's pipes and Berecyntian lute.
Each sight, each sound fresh joys provide

      When April's here.

According to Poets.org:  "The rondeau’s form is not difficult to recognize: as it is known and practiced today, it is composed of fifteen lines, eight to ten syllables each, divided stanzaically into a quintet, a quatrain, and a sestet. The rentrement consists of the first few words or the entire first line of the first stanza, and it recurs as the last line of both the second and third stanzas. Two rhymes guide the music of the rondeau, whose rhyme scheme is as follows (R representing the refrain): aabba aabR aabbaR."  http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/5789

Jessie Redmon Fauset (1882 - 1961) (pictured) was an influential figure during the Harlem Renaissance.  She was the editor of The Crisis--a magazine founded by W. E. B. DuBois--and a school teacher in Baltimore and Washington, DC.  Reference to this and other biographical information may be found here:  http://www.biography.com/people/jessie-fauset-9292341#early-life&awesm=~oC1bGZLpWzTs8d.

"Berecyntian" may refer to the "Berecythian Cybele," an obscure fertility goddess, but a Google search yielded nothing definitive.  The rest of the poem needs no explanation--just enjoy!


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