Convictions’ Poetry Slam: Final Round

As we segue to May , the month set aside to mark Better Sleep, Good Car Care, Photography, Salad, Eggs, and Barbecue—I kid you not—let’s end April’s Convictions Poetry Slam with one last post on law and poetry.

Turns out it’s the subject of  Law and Poetry , 11 Roger Wms. L. Rev. 353 (2006), by Edward J. Eberle and Bernhard Grossfeld , law professors at Roger Williams and Universität Münster, respectively. In addition to discussing some of the questions that Kenji and I explored, the article includes a number of passages mentioned here this month. To talk of Justice Harry A. Blackmun and baseball  and of Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and the flag , the authors add Ninth Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt ‘s  quotation of the anti-lynching ballad Strange Fruit in n.14 of his dissent in a capital punishment case. The article continues with many more examples of ways that law influences poetry and that poetry influences law.  I leave you with one such quote, from “Variations on Variations on a Theme” by  Lawrence Joseph , a St. John’s law professor:

And that’s the law. To bring to light
most hidden depths. The juror screaming
defendant’s the devil staring at her
making her insane. The intense strain
phrasing the truth, the whole truth, nothing
but sentences, endless sentences.