‘It’s getting better all the time…’ (Rondeau IV)

Immediately after another screaming, tormenting time getting Noah to sleep I penned this. My wife was out for one of the first times since Noah was born, Noah was tired but fighting sleep and as you read woke Jonah 3yrs in the process. I’m not sure what else in life brings out the kind of anger experienced when trying to put a tired baby to sleep. Oh yes and I realise it doesn’t meet all the requirements for a Rondeau – the refrain should be four syllables and meter is a bit skewy – and I really don’t care. It helped me to write out my anger and it captured a moment where life was not so rosy. I post it now as he (10 mths) sleeps.

One day when I am sixty eight

A life time from this night too late

Splendid grey will remember not

All my anger will be forgot

But now I’m asking to sedate

“He will not sleep!” Again irate

I fight his stubborn nightly trait

But I won’t be beside this cot

One day

Now the other! My poor heart rate

As back and forth to spin each plate

Just go to sleep!’ my words blood shot

Ties patience in a silent knot

But memories won’t feel this weight

One day

Copyright © Andrew Phillips 2009

The rondeau is a form of structured verse used in English language poetry. It makes use of refrains, repeated according to a certain stylized pattern. It was customarily regarded as a challenge to arrange for these refrains to contribute to the meaning of the poem in as succinct and poignant a manner as possible. The rondeau consists of thirteen lines of eight syllables, plus two refrains (which are half lines, each of four syllables), employing, altogether, only three rhymes. It has three stanzas and its rhyme scheme is as follows: (1) A A B B A (2) A A B with refrain: C (3) A A B B A with concluding refrain C. The refrain must be identical with the beginning of the first line.


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