Refrain poetry is defined a poetry with a repeating line. Of the examples I’ve seen, most of them have the repeating line under the last line of a stanza. Because I have no idea what I’m doing, I wrote a poem with the refrain as the last line of each stanza. Don’t know if that counts or not.

Please don’t condemn me. This is only a writing experiment.

by Mike Patrick

Flickr image by ioanmargineanu

I’ve tilled the soil and watched a birth
And heard my child’s first cry.
I built a house with my own two hands,
So much of a man am I.

I walked a beat and carried a gun
And I watched a poor man die.
It caused me not a sleepless night.
So much of a man am I.

I watched the expression on my wife’s face
When I told her my very first lie.
It worked so smooth and went so well,
So much of a man am I.

I’d sneak around and have my fun.
My sins did multiply.
Then I’d laugh behind her back,
So much a man am I.

But she walked out when she learned the truth,
And I heard her last goodbye.
Now I can’t sleep or eat or think.
So much of a man am I.

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12 Responses to SO MUCH OF A MAN AM I

  1. vivinfrance says:

    This is a powerful atory poem which works well. But I think it would flow better without the Ohs. Try reading it aloud and see what you think.
    Viv ducks!

  2. kolembo says:

    oh, no worries, it’s fabulous! Clean, deeper than it looks, great poem.

  3. Very good poem! I am not knowledgable on the style, but seems right.

  4. RJ Clarken says:

    I didn’t see the original, but what I did get to see was poignant, powerful and in the end, sad. A lesson learned to late, perhaps, but a bittersweet, haunting poem.

  5. So well written, Mike. The repeating last line is very effective. Sad and honest story. We all have ours to tell and hopefully learn from.

  6. Wonderful poem! I love the sound and the imagery.

  7. Tilly Bud says:

    Excellent poem. The refrain works perfectly.

  8. honeyhaiku says:

    Beautifully heartbreaking, I love this one…

  9. ladynimue says:

    This worked perfect !! Will try the style soon .. thanks for teaching about this 🙂

    • Mike Patrick says:

      I am glad you liked it. I rather liked the effect too, though I’m thinking of placing it under each stanza as an unrhymed line the next time. That would eliminate the repetitive sound caused by everything rhyming with the same last word.

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