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Statutes are themselves often enough ambiguous texts requiring careful analysis and interpretation by judicial opinions – the same skills used in reading poetry.

Law and verse: a poetic connection

Statutes are themselves often enough ambiguous texts requiring careful analysis and interpretation by judicial opinions – the same skills used in reading poetry.

About Ami C. Janda

2 comments

  1. The law and poetry…There is a great hip-hop song by Ice Cube. Instead of 3 strikes and you’re out…his song is “Three strikes and you in”

  2. There are a few outstanding examples, but my favorite is a simple real estate Deed recorded in Cass County, Illinois on August 9, 1881:

    I, J. Henry Shaw, the Grantor herein,
    Residing in Beardstown, Cass County wihtin

    For seven hundred dollars to me paid today
    to Charles E. Wyman do sell and convey

    Lot two (2) in Block forty (40), said county and town
    Where Illinois River flows placidly down

    And warrant the title forever and aye,
    Waiving homestead and mansion to both a good bye.

    And pledging this deed is valid in law
    I add here my signature, J. Henry Shaw (seal)

    I, Sylvester Emmons, who lives in Beardtown,
    A Justice of Peace of fame and renown

    Of the County of Cass and Illinois State,
    Do certify here that on this same date,

    Our J. Henry Shaw to me did make known
    That the deed above and name are truly his own

    And he state he sealed and delivered the same
    Voluntarily, freely and never would claim
    His homestead therein; but left all alone
    Turned his face to the street and his back to his home.

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