Land of the Free

Written by Susan Noyes Anderson on . Posted in Patriotic Poems

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©2020 Susan Noyes Anderson

image by Brandon Mowinkle on Unsplash

Our country is a sonnet
written in another time.
Set down in 14 lines,
no more, no less.

Petrarchan-styled “sonetto”
[little song], with boundaries clear…
passions revered, but ruled
against excess.

Two quatrains (rhyme scheme – “abba”)
set the premise or query.
Please note: “Abba” can be
a cry to God.

The sestain takes a “volta” [turn]
to challenge, clarify, resolve,
then serve the vibrant whole
as lightning rod.

Centuries have come and gone,
the sonnet losing favor,
its song a sacrifice
to feeling free.

With form rebranded as constraint,
rhyme and meter draw complaint
from poets prone to flirt
with anarchy.

A new volta approaches.
Regulation is the key.
Does changing structure yield
more liberty?

Or do old rules hold space
for living free?

I have a healthy respect for the old rules…in poetry and in our constitution. While I am in no way opposed to new ideas, the value of old traditions that have served us well should not be discounted. Ours is not an either/or situation, and I will continue writing sonnets and other forms, upholding the Bill of Rights, and not throwing out the proverbial baby with the bath water. Roots are important, and change has more gravitas when it honors the foundation upon which it is built.

If this poem resonated with you, you might also relate to The Power Is Ours.

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