For issue #11 of the Jet Fuel Review, we’ve included a special section that features a sampling of pieces that all share a prevailing theme, with this issue’s special theme being a collection of bouts-rimé poetry.
A bouts-rimé is a literary game in which poets are given a predetermined set of words that they must center their poems around. Literally meaning “rhymed-ends” in French, a bouts-rimé is a type of sonnet, three quatrains and a couplet with an abab cdcd efef gg rhyme scheme. Since the fourteen words that we chose were challenging, we decided that adherence to iambic pentameter would be optional.
The selected fourteen words were required to be used at the end of each line (hence, “rhymed-ends” as the translation) and in the order they were given. All of the Jet Fuel Review editors collaborated in coming up with interesting words to stump poets. Here are the fourteen words we decided on: envelope, orange, telescope, singe; eyelash, wire, mustache, fire; underhand, render, ampersand, tender; photogenic, pomegranate.
Seeing what the poets were in for, we felt that it would only be right for us, the editors, to attempt to write bouts-rimés ourselves. After feeling the frustration firsthand, we could not be more pleased with how many lovely bouts-rimés we received in response to our seemingly impossible task.
— Sam Gennett, Assistant Managing Editor
Presented below are the editors’ attempts at writing poems using our specific bouts-rimé guidelines. These poems have all been written by Jet Fuel Review editors and other Lewis University students/alumni.
To see the poems that made the cut in issue #11, follow the link here.