Sonnet #9 – thoughts on liberating freedom
Set freedom free to frolic like the Lamb
Unless we live our lives here droll and damned
Indentured drudges doomed to stumble, scratch
through statutes: still life sketches crowded, crammed
Set freedom free my friend and loose its latch
To let it leap alive until attached
and tethered to the truant wilding ways
where we will weave the wind we could not catch
Now can we crest the cap of man made maze?
These mangled, muscled motives hid in haze?
to heed this holy hope, this playful prance?
Where powers, popes, and people chant new chants?
The chants we chose did choose and loose our lives
from laws that lashed our legs ‘gainst divine dance
Rhyme pattern: aaba bbcb ccdcdd
Alliteration: first three feet of a meter land on one consonant, 4-5 on another, the following line within each section carries over the alliteration from 4-5 to the first three feet. 3/2 3/2 follows throughout.
Theology: although there is a freedom within the law, this sonnet searches out the freedom which is outside of law. Sometimes we are the “damned, doomed drudges” – slaves to the laws and in need of deliverance. The law viewed as a dead attempt to monitor the wildness of life, it is at best “still life sketches.” Freedom on the other hand is viewed in a Messianic connection – “to frolic like the lamb.”
The Spirit of God is referred to as “truant wilding ways” – a God who always seems late, and appears(at least to us) to be undependable, and so these ways force us to build a life we feel we can not quite grasp. On the basis of this, freedom from law/legalism is related to as a wild song and dance.
The volta in line 9 begins a climb to the top of a mountain above law, which men have manipulated (“mangled”) and used to overpower others (“muscled”). And so cresting the peak out of the fog we come to a freedom like dancing a “divine dance” to a holy song on a mountaintop – with our legs no longer bound (“lashed”) by legalism.