Freedom in Constraint Poem #8

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.

“Dog Days” is the eighth poem in the sequence. This time we have a Sestina which is a formal poem which uses repeated end of line words over thirty nine lines. These poems can be challenging to write, but are also good for building tension around the subject matter of a poem. The poem was written when we had that brief Indian summer when the kids went back to school, but is reflective of the unseasonably hot weather we had back in April in the early days of adjusting to our new situation.

Once again, the film was made by my good friend Pete McCluskey and he also delivers the poem with perfect pacing. It’s a longer and more wordy piece than some of the recent poems and Pete has added to the rising tension with a soundtrack that hovers and builds behind his voice and by the judicious us of blacked-out screen at intervals which helps the poem as it moves through its narrative.

The aim is to complete the sequence by the end of the year, in the hope I suppose that the new year might bring a move away from these troubles which have assailed us throughout 2020. Until the next time, enjoy the poems and stay safe!

Brian Kirk


31st October 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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