Naptime and Rhyming

Hi everyone.   For the last few days, since Saturday to be precise, I have been writing poetry every day.  I am pleased with this achievement and feel I am on a roll.  Each day I try to think of a poetry challenge/goal for the next day or the same day, depending how far ahead I am.   Even if one day I am reworking the poem I wrote the previous day, it still counts as writing poetry.    Today’s poem is an example of a poem I wrote over two days.

The poem in question is about naptime and the trials of getting my cheeky monkey of a one year old to sleep.   I wrote it yesterday using an abab rhyming pattern (1st and 3rd line rhyme, 2nd and fourth line rhyme) and when I read it back it had potential but it wasn’t my best work so rather stupidly I deleted my first attempt, thinking it wasn’t worth keeping because I was going to start from scratch the next day.

Big Mistake!

Although I have successfully reworked the poem, as I will explain, I realise now that I was too hasty in getting rid of the original and truly, I hardly ever do this.  In hindsight if I didn’t want it on the Pages document I could have transferred it to the notebook on my phone, started a new document or at the very least I could have jotted it down in my notebook for future reference.   I should have merely written the new version below as I did use some of my original ideas in the piece. Besides, now I can’t share the original on here to show progress.  Grrrr so so silly! But let that be a lesson to the rest of you. If you ever get tempted to just hit backspace,  DON’T DO IT!  Something will be worth saving.  Please learn from my mistake!

The Reworking

So how did I rework the poem? Well my preparation started yesterday when I decided to count how many times I had used each rhyming pattern, to establish which patterns I am more comfortable with and which ones work best for me. My most popular patterns it turns out are aabb (1st and 2nd lines rhyme, 3rd and 4th lines rhyme) which I used in my early poems and abcb (2nd line rhymes with 4th line)  which I have started to use more often now.    I was thinking that the pattern I originally used for my naptime poem abab  is a very tight structure and too much emphasis can be placed on following the pattern to find the rhyming words and this can be, in my case, at the expense of quality.   abcb and aabb  both give me more freedom and flexibility and that is why, I believe, my best poems have been written following these patterns.  I have given abab a good shot and I don’t want to dismiss this pattern completely but I definitely need to work on it, should I want to use it again.

So while during the long and drawn out process of getting Sam off to sleep today, I began thinking of my ideas from yesterday (luckily I can remember most of what I wrote) and working them into a new poem, this time using aabb.   Here is the result:

Naptime Woes

Why oh why won’t you Go down for a nap?
It’s not like your mummy’s setting a trap

Why do you always put up a fight?
It’s not like I’m doing it out of spite

Why do you kick and fuss and moan?
Why can’t you go to sleep on your own?

Putting you down is becoming a chore
Your delaying antics are such a bore

I should be doing the washing up
Or drinking tea from my favourite cup

Or enjoying a chocolate biscuit or two
It’s not like I’m asking too much of you

So please go to sleep my little one
And when you wake up we’ll have so much fun

Jen Elvy

I hope you like the end result. I certainly think it’s a lot better.  I will do another share of a rework at some point and this time include the original (and not delete it!) so you can see the progress.

Apologies for the long explanation before I shared the poem.  I did this because I wanted to set the scene before sharing.

So there’s one way I can make it up to you. I have another poem for you and I’m wondering right now whether I should share it or save it but who am I kidding? I want to share it:

The Last Time

This is the last time
I will buy tiny sleepsuits
And look forward to the day
My baby can wear them

This is the last time
I will hold a newborn baby in my arms
And know that he is mine

This is the last time
I will nurse my baby to sleep
And see him drift off in my arms
So content

This is the last time
I will see the first smile
A wonderful moment
To share and to treasure

This is the last time
I will hear the first laugh
The happy, contented sound
That touches my heart

This is the last time
I will see my baby learn to crawl
Those tentative little wobbles
Across the floor

This is the last time
I will see my baby turn one
A whole year old
Heading away from babyhood

The last time
For many things
But so many more first times to come
Life has just begun

Jen Elvy


As you will see it is a non-rhyming poem.  I am really getting more comfortable with these poems than I ever thought I would in the beginning.  As long as I keep to a pattern and use repetition it seems to work well with me.

The message is clear.    You just know sometimes don’t you when a baby will be your last and your family is complete.  Dan and I, for example, are so happy and love our boys so much but we know Sam will be our last as we want to stick with two for various reasons.   It just dawns on you though, doesn’t it, when you look at your youngest child and think this is the last time that you will go through a particular phase.  But although sad in some ways, hopefully the poem delivers a message at the end that there are many adventures to come.

And on that positive note, I will sign off.  Hope you’ve enjoyed my poems today and there are more to come very soon.

Thanks as always for your continued support,

Jen x


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