Navigation Menu+

Ballade

Ballade (French = “the dancing song”)

Complicated verse form with heavy rhyme emphasis

FORM:

3 stanzas followed by ENVOI (short final stanza with half the lines of one stanza that begins by addressing an important person and sums up the point of the poem).

Each stanza is typically 8 lines long.

All 3 stanzas follow the same rhyme scheme:

ababbcbC (‘C’ is the same for all 3 stanzas plus the last envoi stanza)

Envoi rhyme scheme:

bcbC

TOTAL BALLADE FORM/RHYME SCHEME:

ababbcbC/ababbcbC/ababbcbC/bcbC

 

Variations include

  • 10 line stanzas with rhyme schemes ababbccdcD and envoi of 5 lines with rhyme scheme ccdcD
  • 12 line stanza with 6 line envoi
  • Double ballade with 6 stanzas of 8, 10, or 12 lines but NOT a concluding envoi