Sonnet #10 – thoughts on the tense search for freedom

Sonnet #10 – 3rd sonnet on the nature and struggle for freedom (from a theological perspective)

I set asea, I satisfied allures
O freedom made rough passages seem mine
until a latent fire ran its course
I burned. Do ne’er be turned by freedom’s signs

I sought to tow a tossed and vagrant mind
Ashore where were re-shackled my amours
I tied my meditations to the lines
Of law, and down a love did fall to force

A trap ’tis set, a part of our contour
is bent to no best thing above but earth
down here where hand and heart do burn with greed
But yet is set a tablet, laws, guidelines
We follow well for fear of losing worth
Lo, ‘tween not law nor license we are freed

Rhyming Pattern and other rules for this sonnet: abab baba acdbcd, Within the first three feet (beats) of each meter (line of poetry) I created a mirrored consonantal alliteration. This consonantal alliteration is done by sound, and not exact letters. Thus: “f” in freedom and “gh” in enough match in line 2. Silent letters do not count, and “w” and “y” are treated as vowels as they would be in Welsh. So, for example, line 2 has the following pattern in the first three beats: f r d m / m d r f – FReeDoM MaDe RouGH. I set these rules before beginning the sonnet, and so this was by far the most difficult sonnet yet. Line 8 pattern shows a similar use of consonant sounds being used instead of actual letters the “f” in “of” matches the “v” in “love,” and so the pattern is v l n d / d n l v. These have not come out perfectly, but they are all in place within the first three beats of each line.

Theology/Spirituality: I set the rhyming pattern (abab baba acdbcd) to emphasize the back and forth tension of law versus license in our personal behavior, and the fact neither quite lands on the answer. Law as a means of finding freedom and fulfillment has its limit. Obedience is good, but legalistic attachment to it becomes a bondage of cultural expectation and personal pride. On the other hand, license to do whatever we want becomes a personal form of slavery to our own passions. The volta (change in focus) occurs in line 9 where the tension between license (1-4) and law (5-8) is viewed as a trap in which we vacillate wildly between the two.

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