Considerations of freedom, its meanings and its contradictions, have for long lain at the heart of human discourse. In these poems Sam Burnside explores some of the notions that arise from the tensions he discovers on battlefields and in farm-fields, in car parks or in chain stores, at cafe tables, in church pews or in pubs ‑ or, on the streets of Derry…
From the Foreword to Forms of Freedom
Now, looking from a long perspective, (Burnside) has found the freedom to range far and wide, though most often from his Derry grounding. The big issues of life are here: birth – even if the bailiff’s letter arrived on the same day; marriage – one of them celebrated here in song; and, death – did anyone ever love the rabbit catcher who froze to death?
He came from a far distant era. Ruined cottages still summon up memories, but now farming is industrialised, and meetings are as likely to take place in a multi-story car park, or in Debenham’s, rather than a traditional bar. A child remembers cycling to the meeting house propped up by a cushion; the adult is wiped out by a hit-and-run driver.
‘Small is beautiful’ is the phrase that comes to mind for much of this work. Dip in and dip out and the pleasure will be yours.