The True Meaning Of Freedom

Many look on what constitutes freedom one might say differently
What seems free to you may not seem free to me
To be ruled by your own people to you as freedom does count
But in the true meaning of freedom that to little amount.

To be ruled by your own people may be seen as quite okay
But if you have to be careful with the words you do say
Then you are not a free person despite about it how you may feel
Your idea of freedom to me does not appeal.

Of love of Country you are one who brag
And your patriotism you carry in your National flag
But despite this your Government you seemingly fear
And they only tell you what you need to hear.

Patriotic songs and ballads many like to sing
And to their admiration of freedom fighters they fervently do cling
And if that's your idea of freedom well that suits me fine
Though your ideas on life are quite different to mine.

by Francis Duggan

Comments (3)

I love Barnard's translations of Sappho. I think they are among the most lucid, deeply affecting poems in the English language.
This is a beautiful poem, but please be aware that it is not an accurate translation. Anactoria is never mentioned in the existing fragment, and the first line (among other things) is a fabrication. The translator has taken the liberty of filling in the missing parts, which is not a problem as long as you don't need to cite it.
One of the most hauntingly beautiful poems ever written. O Sappho. Your words rush over me as the speed of time.