Freedom in Constraint Poem #6

Freedom in Constraint is a sequence of formal poems focusing on the themes of isolation and social distancing and the wider issues and challenges to community and family arising out of the current Covid 19 pandemic.

“The Mask I Wear” is the sixth poem in the sequence. This poem is a Rondeau and was written about a month ago when the discussion around the wearing of masks began to get very heated with some governments being slower than others in making them compulsory in enclosed public spaces. Once more, the film was made by my good friend Peter McCluskey and he also reads the poem. This time he’s taken a more upbeat approach approach in terms of soundtrack and delivery of the poem. We discussed it and he was very keen to highlight the repetition of rhyme and sounds so that it might meld with the soundtrack to best deliver the circularity of discussion around the ongoing crisis and mask wearing in particular.

The full sequence should run to around fifteen poems, so we are well on the way at this stage. I’m trying to use as many formal types of poetry as possible with the proviso that the form adds something to the theme in each case. I hope I’ve succeeded to some degree so far. Until the next time, enjoy the poems and stay safe!

Brian Kirk,


10th August 2020


Freedom in Constraint is a sequence of formal poems responding to life during the Covid 19 crisis and is made with support from the Arts Council of Ireland / An Comhairle Éalíon’s Covid 19 Response Award.

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