Ages & Sins 1: Infant Love

I am half way through my mission to write a sonnet every week for a year.

My sonnets are arranged into four collections of fourteen. The first two collections are personification and forms of love (inspired by the Ancient Greeks’ many words for love). The third, which commences with this sonnet, combines the logic of maths with creative writing and literary history: 14 is comprised of two sevens, there are two established sevens in the literary cannon. I am calling this collection Ages & Sins because it is inspired by Shakespeare’s Seven Ages of Man and the Desert Fathers’ Seven Deadly Sins.

The Ages will come first. Shakespeare’s first age is the infant, “Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms”. This sonnet is therefore an exploration of infant life.

Infant Love
The infant’s first intake of breath declares
Their independence from the bass drum beat
That pounded through the chest of she who bears
The task of forming trembling hands and feet.
The infant’s first bold-apprehensive step
Shows confidence and vulnerability;
Stage one of life’s long unrelenting schlep
Through storms that threaten keen stability.
When first the infant speaks the world prepares
For the lid to be lifted off the jar
That seals inside wants, needs, fears, hopes and cares
That unleashed spread trapped thoughts to realms afar.
	When love is added as the small child grows,
	They’ll learn to savour heights and cope with lows.

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