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Rated: E · Poetry · Military · #2007964
A Rondeau Poem about a day in the life of a Submariner
My first attempt at a Rondeau Poem. A Rondeau poem consists of a Refrain, and three stanzas, a quintet (5 lines), a quatrain (4 lines) and a sestet (6 lines), giving a total of 15 lines.

The first phrase of the first line usually sets the refrain R. It is admissible to use the whole line used as the refrain.

The rhyme scheme is: R. a. a. b. b. a .... a. a. b. R. .... a. a. b. b. a. R.

Life Undersea

Working on his quals, listening to the fan.
Suddenly the air flow stopped, “Oh man, not again!”
Crawling out of bed, he put on his Poopie Suit.
Donned denim socks, before lacing up his boots.
Ninety days underwater, he was no longer tan.

Bubbleheads are they, a modern sailor man.
Living on a submarine, in the madness is a plan.
So little time to rest, especially for new recruits.
Working on his quals.

A family was formed, the day the cruise began.
Working hard to be safe, in every way they can.
They’re always in danger, there is no safety chute.
No way to get out, nor viable escape route.
Water all around, no matter how they scan.
Working on his quals.

Jim Dorrell

Definition of terms used in the poem:

Poopie Suit: A one-piece uniform that is low lint, and fire retardant. Light weight too, easy on with one zipper of piece of velcro, and easy off.

Quals: Qualification on various watchstations (depending on his rate. Rate = Job. Also, for new submariners, qualifying to earn their dolphins. This took about a year on the 'boat' (as submarines are called), though some have done it much faster. Many of the qualifications did require written and oral exams also.

Bubblehead: Slang term for Submariners. Some surface sailors try to use it in a deragatory manner, but to most of us, it's a title we're proud to carry.
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