|James I of Scotland|
By Ashley Lister
The rhyme royal (sometimes called the rime royale by those
who prefer to spell things incorrectly) is a fairly straightforward poetic
It refers to a stanza of seven lines, each line containing
ten syllables, and the whole poem following a rhyming pattern of a b a b b c c.
The form, according to the Poetry Foundation, was popularized by Geoffrey
Chaucer and termed “royal” because his imitator, James I of Scotland, employed this
structure in his own verse.
Here’s an example of one I wrote earlier.
We talk about our plans for this evening
Things we’d love to do when at our
I long to give your sexual bells a ring:
Thrill you with a night you’ll always
In return you give a choice of pleasure
But I care not if you swallow or spit
I’m happy if you put your mouth round it.
Note that there are ten syllables per line. This isn’t iambic
pentameter. This is merely ten syllables per line. Writing in iambs might make
for something more profound but, as regular readers of these exercises will be
aware, I am an exceptionally superficial poet.
One of the many fun things about this form is that the
stanzas can be used to form verses in a longer poem. This is the way Chaucer
used it in his work and we can see examples of this in Wyatt, Auden and many
I pluck your pubes from twixt my teeth
The taste of you still lingers on my lips
Your scent’s a mem’ry that’s made to
I yearn to squirm beneath your fingertips
And play with toys like canes and crops
And savour pleasures borne beyond belief
Then pluck more pubes from in between my
As always, please feel free to share your rhyme royals in
the comments box below.