Convictions Poetry Slam: Entry No. 2

Slate's blog on legal issues.
April 2 2008 4:57 PM

Convictions Poetry Slam: Entry No. 2

Kudos to Berkeley 2L Josh Keesan for rising to the challenge of nominating "law poetry" for the National Poetry Month -long Convictions Poetry Slam announced yesterday. Josh's entry fits neatly within Slam example No. 2, "poems about law or about law's effect on society." It's " Law Like Love ," written by W.H. Auden , the poet who was born in England in 1907, became a U.S. citizen after serving in the Spanish Civil War, and died in Vienna in 1973.

The full poem, perhaps a wee bit long for a blog, can be read here (along with a great comment thereafter). Let me proffer a few choice stanzas:

Advertisement

Law is the wisdom of the old,
The impotent grandfathers feebly scold;
The grandchildren put out a treble tongue,
Law is the senses of the young.

....

Law, says the judge as he looks down his nose,
Speaking clearly and most severely,
Law is as I've told you before,
Law is as you know I suppose,
Law is but let me explain it once more,
Law is The Law.

....

Although I can at least confine
Your vanity and mine
To stating timidly
A timid similarity,
We shall boast anyway:
Like love I say.  

Like love we don't know where or why,
Like love we can't compel or fly,
Like love we often weep,
Like love we seldom keep.


Great stuff, Josh; thanks. The erstwhile-student-of-Sherman-Act-remedies-in-me loves the "treble tongue" metaphor. Now: Who among my fellow Convicted is ready to take from Josh the Poetry Slam baton?

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore, and Schools Are Getting Worried

The Good Wife Is Cynical, Thrilling, and Grown-Up. It’s Also TV’s Best Drama.

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 19 2014 9:15 PM Chris Christie, Better Than Ever
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 19 2014 6:35 PM Pabst Blue Ribbon is Being Sold to the Russians, Was So Over Anyway
  Life
Atlas Obscura
Sept. 19 2014 1:10 PM Ascension Island: Home of Lava Fields, a False Forest, and the World's Worst Golf Course
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 3:07 PM Everything Is a "Women's Issue"
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 4:48 PM You Should Be Listening to Sbtrkt
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 5:03 PM White House Chief Information Officer Will Run U.S. Ebola Response
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 19 2014 5:09 PM Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?   A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.
Politics
Sept. 19 2014 6:22 PMBlacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment ProblemAmericans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 
Medical Examiner
Sept. 19 2014 12:13 PMThe Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PMWhat Happens When Lifetime Makes a Movie Out of the Steubenville Rape Case