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My first-born

Preamble: for this week's Rhymers theme "first", here is my first attempt at a villanelle.


My son, it fell to you to be born first

You turned a couple into Mum and Dad

You sometimes had the best, sometimes the worst


You changed our lives when into them you burst,

And for that day I ever shall be glad,

My son, it fell to you to be born first.


Our parenting was wholly unrehearsed,

Not knowing sleepless nights could be so bad,

You sometimes had the best, sometimes the worst.


Sometimes you long for roles to be reversed,

When little sister has things you once had,

My son, it fell to you to be born first.


It’s true some tricky times we have traversed,

When sharp words replaced hugs when we got mad,

You sometimes had the best, sometimes the worst.


Yes, with imperfect parents you are cursed,

Try as I might, my failings make me sad,

My son, it fell to you to be born first,

You sometimes had the best, sometimes the worst.


© Becky Who 2018



childrenfirstSaturday Rhymers ClubsonSRCvillanelle

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Becky Who

Mon 3rd Dec 2018 20:59

Thanks guys as always. It was fun to try out the challenge of a new structure, but it's not quite there yet - I'm not happy with the ultimate message of the repeating lines. As you say Big Sal, I think these lines need to be really strong, and mine are not quite there. Like my Haiku, I'm still a beginner - but I'm really learning how practice makes...not perfect, but improvement at least!

Big Sal

Mon 3rd Dec 2018 15:38

Well done, Becky. As I'm sure you could tell by now, people on WOL love structure in their poems, and a villanelle is a perfect showcase of that. The repeating line must always be more powerful than the entirety of a haiku, and as brief as one too.

You did well with this, you should practice them more.?

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John Coopey

Sun 2nd Dec 2018 08:43

Nice villanelle, Becky. The only apprenticeship we serve for being a parent is role play. And we only get to play the kid.

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M.C. Newberry

Sat 1st Dec 2018 15:27

I imagine that all parents are "amateurs" as far as a first birth is
concerned, no matter how much advice - written and verbal - may
be available. It's clearly very much a "hands-on, learn-as-you-go"
process. These lines certainly convey that to the reader, adding
the effect of the transfer of parental priorities to a new born.

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jennifer Malden

Sat 1st Dec 2018 15:01

Lovely villanelling! Agree about the sleepless nights -and then one has to go to work as well.


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Taylor Crowshaw

Sat 1st Dec 2018 14:35

A parents lot..wonderful but fraught with pitfalls..x

<Deleted User> (18980)

Sat 1st Dec 2018 09:49

A lot of responsibility on his shoulders! I'm sure you are great parents.

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