A Thing of Beauty

at dVerse, Abhra has us writing about trees. I wanted to try to write a poem using a form called Rondeau Redoublé.  This is my first attempt at this form, so it may be a bit clumsy.


A thing of beauty is a tree
From leaves above to roots below
Though fixed in place they seem so free
They beautify the place they grow

If bare of leaf and robed in snow
If budding forth as if in glee
If on them autumn colours glow
A thing of beauty is a tree!

A hiding place for chickadee
A place of shade for buck and doe
They’re wonderful, it’s plain to see
From leaves above to roots below

And when the winds across them blow
They bend and sway so gracefully
As if they’re dancing in a show
Though fixed in place they seem so free!

A place without them wouldn’t be
The kind of place I’d want to go
I say without apology
They beautify the place they grow

And so to trees I say, “Bravo!”
They stand there in such majesty
They are one thing (and this I know)
Yes, they are this (you must agree):
A thing of beauty!


Some notes on the form (feel free to skip this if you find form boring):  While the rondeau redoublé shares some characteristics with the rondeau form, it also has some marked differences.  Each of the lines of the first stanza get repeated once each in the last lines of stanzas 2-5, and the first part of the first line is reprised at the end of stanza 6 as a rentrement.  The overall rhyme structure is A1B1A2B2, babA1, abaB1, babA2, abaB2, babaR (where “R” is the first half of A1)

Gulliver Locke – Chapter One

Gulliver David Locke, more commonly referred to as Gull, lived with his parents at the edge of town.  Urban development spread to the south east and north of him, but to the west…nothing but trees!  Gull may have lived in the town, but his imagination  lived in those trees.

As far back as he could remember, Gull’s parents had warned him that he should stay out of The Woods.  “It’s quite easy to lose your way in all those trees,” they’d say.  “One tree looks pretty much like the next one, and even a little ways in, you could lose your sense of direction and become completely lost.  Besides, it might be haunted!”

For a long time, Gull obeyed his mom and dad, although he so desperately wanted to explore.  Eventually, of course, his desires and his imagination of what it would be like in The Woods overcame his parents’ injunctions, and he decided to explore.

“I doubt that ghosts or goblins exist, and if I just take a few steps in,” he reasoned with himself, “I’ll still be able to see home, and I won’t get lost.  I won’t go so far in that I can’t see the house.”  And so, with the careless confidence of youth, he stepped in among the trees.

His first few times in the forest, he obeyed his own instructions to himself and got home safely enough, but there was a diminishing amount of thrill each time he went in until, at last, he decided, “I’ll just go in a wee bit farther.”  He took another step into the cool green shade of the trees.  Then another, then another.  When he turned around, there was nothing to be seen but trees in all directions.  Pleased with his bravery, he headed back for home…but the trees didn’t end where he thought they should.  The more he looked for his way out of the trees, the more he realized that his parents had been right.

He was completely, and utterly, lost.


At Carpe Diem, we’ve been asked to write a new haiku inspired by the following one by Alexey Andreyev.  First his:

morning awakening:
among window curtains’ flowers
a blade of gray sky

(c) Alexey Andreyev

Now mine:

the morning sun
kisses the distant treetops
greys fades to green