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:

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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?

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