Sonnet #8 – on Freedom Part 1: False Freedom

This is the first of three (hopefully) sonnets on the subject of freedom. To cover dangerous, selfish freedoms, liberating freedoms, and the tension between discerning the difference.

sonnet #8: on false freedom

Freedom for freedom’s sake, and when I blinked
made my mistake. Mistook my pains for joys
and in His book my sin and yours were inked
See now my skin is linked to death’s employ

Freedom for freedom’s call surprised my mind
required my all, I sold myself into
its grip, its old familiar bump and grind
Its lure has killed and dined, ’tis me it slew

Freedom for freedom’s rule deceived my heart
and proved its cruel unusual abuse
and at the pew I kneel to God, a truce
I plea, to seal my hope, and peace impart
This ancient rope around my neck, its art
uncovered, found to chart freedom’s false ruse

Poetic notes on the above sonnet: it carries a complex rhyming scheme. The end of the verses follow abab cdcd effeef. The complexity flows from the internal rhyming which is not random, but organized as such: the stress in the third foot of each meter rhymes with the stress in the second foot of the following meter. In the last line of each block (4,8,14) the stress on the second foot rhymes with the last word of the first line in the same  section.

foot = set of iambs, or coupled syllables with the second syllable being stressed
meter = line

Theological notes on the above sonnet: in meter 3 and 4 I liken sins written into God’s book to a tattoo – not because tattoos are sinful (I don’t believe that), but because our actions have a type of permanence like inking something into our skin. Meter 8 drops into the depth of the dark nature of a freedom based upon selfish principles. It takes on a monstrous illustration of eating us alive. The volta (the turn of focus) clearly occurs in line 11: “and at the pew I kneel to God…” The reference to “truce” and “peace” in meters 11 and 12 are a reference to a medieval declaration of peace called pax dei, and treuga dei. When we discover the darkness of selfish freedom it is likened in lines 13 and 14 to discovering that it is like a map, which if followed forms a noose around my neck.

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