Saturday’s Mix–May 13, 2017

Welcome to Saturday’s Mix.  Once again I’m looking to my English classes for inspiration.  There is a wonderful tradition of medieval romantic writing–knights and chivalry; King Arthur and the round table.  By definition, a medieval romance includes:

  • A hero–a knight of incredible strength, intelligence, and virtue
  • A quest–whether for love, wealth, or adventure, this journey will test him with its many difficulties
  • An exotic setting–imaginary kingdoms, castles, enchanted forests, monsters
  • Supernatural elements–magic spells, giants, sleeping dragons, and mysterious evil forces
  • Hidden identities–whether through deception or magic, characters are often not whom they appear to be
  • Episodic Structure–characters bounce from adventure to adventure without a strict structure

The prose challenge today is to write a short episode in the fashion of a medieval romance tale.


If you choose to do the challenge as poetry, it’s only fitting to use a medieval French form–the Rondeau, which first made its appearance as courtly music in the thirteenth century.

“The standard literary rondeau is usually found as fifteen octo- or decasyllabic lines divided into three stanzas, a quintet, quatrain and sestet.  The refrain consists of the first few words of the first line of the first stanza.  The rentrement, or refrain, ends the second and third stanzas, serving as their last lines.  Only two rhymes are used throughout (Turco).  The rhyme scheme is as follows:  aabba aabR aabbaR.”

One of the most famous examples of a Rondeau is John McCrae’s World War I poem “In Flanders Fields.”

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place, and in the sky,
The larks, still bravely singing, fly,
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead; short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe!
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high!
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Feel free to write a romance episode in prose or as a Rondeau, or you can try the poetry with a different topic.

Once you’ve written your piece please tag your work Mindlovesmisery’s Menagerie and Saturday Mix then either ping back or put a link to your work in the comments below.  To make things simpler you can add your link to the Mr. Linky app below so everyone will be able to quickly find your work.



Comments are closed.