Freedom in Constraint Poem #10

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.

“Metaxu” is the tenth poem in the sequence and the form this time is rhyming couplets. I came across the notion of metaxu when I was reviewing a poetry collection late last year. The concept appears in a range of writings, some religious, but is probably most notably espoused by the philosopher, Simone Weil.

Considering man’s relationship with God, she writes:

” Two prisoners whose cells adjoin communicate with each other by knocking on the wall. The wall is the thing which separates them but it is also their means of communication. It is the same with us and God. Every separation is a link. “

In the same way I was struck by the way we have been living at a distance this last year and yet there is a strong sense of community, mutual support and connection.

Once again, the film was made by my good friend Pete McCluskey and he also delivers the poem with perfect pacing. The space he allows around the words here is very well controlled I think. He imposes a break before the final four couplets which adds I think to the impact of closing lines of the poem.

I thought the end of 2020 might see the end of the sequence, but I think we might continue for a little longer. It seems only fitting that we should in the circumstances.

Until the next time, enjoy the poems and stay safe!

Brian Kirk


22nd November 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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