Rondeau: Hard times

In these hard times some still acquire
Great wealth and all that they desire;
The rest of us must simply go
Where we are carried by the flow
And watch our deep-held dreams expire.

The banker claims he’s worth his hire,
Yet daily he is proved a liar
By all the billions that we owe
                            In these hard times.

And as the favoured few conspire
To keep their fat out of the fire,
We mourn our children: they, we know,
Will reap this wretched crop we sow.
We’ve been sold out – but who’s the buyer
                            In these hard times?


Still getting to grips with the rondeau form, but really enjoying the work: it’s certainly given me a whole new appreciation of the craft, as well as the beauty, in John McCrae’s timeless elegy In Flanders Fields. N.

10 thoughts on “Rondeau: Hard times

  1. If the wealthy dominate society to such a degree that they are the only ones able to realize their dreams, then history tells us that the society they create, sooner or later, will collapse. The problem is that the collapse drags those without into even more chaos. Hopefully the democratic countries will vote restrictions upon the unrestrained building of wealth and allow a few others to dream and realize their dreams. A great rondeau, Nick. I’ve got a lot to go on the dragon epic, but as soon as I can I’m going to try one. You have inspired me again!

  2. Hi Nick
    the content of course is very much what is going on these days, maybe things wil change for the better, but probably in the end, everything will pretty much be as is?
    Lovely poem! You always make the best of words and form!
    So this one is a rondeau, it looks so beautiful, I will try one too.
    Good weekend 🙂
    Ina x

    • Thank you John – it’s quite a brain-teaser, the rondeau, but all the more satisfying for that. I wanted to try something a bit more contemporary and ‘edgy’ than my usual birds-and-trees-and-flowers stuff, but sticking with a metrical form; I’m so glad you think it works. N.

  3. There is something very deep in the use of such an old-fashioned form to describe such a modern problem.

    You make it work extremely well.

    Although I suspect when we look back in history we will find that all great civilisations collapse in very similar ways.

    I was once told that the first sign of a civilisation in decline is when we start educating more lawyers than we do engineers!!

    I too worry about the legacy we are leaving for our children.
    Although a conversation with my younger son today left me encouraged about the potential of the next generation.

    My best to you Nick


    • Thank you David. If I thought that poetry could really change the world, I’d be posting every hour. I love your quote about lawyers and engineers; one could say the same about marketing executives, PR people and, yes, copywriters. Actually, I always wanted to be an engineer – couldn’t handle the maths and physics, unfortunately. Probably just as well, though: I know I wouldn’t want to drive any car, cross any bridge or fly in any aeroplane I’d designed! And you’re right about the next generation: I’ve no faith at all in mine, but I think (and hope) my daughter and her friends will see the world differently and make a better job of life and living than many of us have. N.

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