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Gray v. Gardner Limerick:

Corey Bean, a student in my Contracts II case this semester, submits a limerick in honor of the old Massachusetts case Gray v. Gardner, which turns on the issue of whether the "arrival" of a ship of whale oil by a certain date was a condition precednet or condition subsequent under the contract:

There once was a man from Nantucket

Who bought sperm oil by the bucket,

And tried to evade

A contract he made

But the court did not let him duck it.

Lady Adams's arrival just might

Not have provoked such a fight

But the parties did wrestle

Over whether the vessel

Must be anchored or only in sight.

Update:

Whoops--sorry, I didn't realize that the line formatting was originally off. I've tried to fix it.

Unpoetic Law Student:
That's pretty good - that might even come in handy remembering that subject matter for the final. This could spawn a trend of Contracts II profs scratching their heads at why, all of a sudden, their students are quoting poetry on the final.
1.30.2006 12:04pm
Daniel Chapman (mail):
With talent like that, why is he wasting his time in law school? :)
1.30.2006 12:16pm
East Coast:
That's not bad. Mark Pettit, VC'er Prof. Barnett's colleague at Boston University, has been doing poems and limericks to cases for many years, almost all student submitted. From songs set on classic showtunes to Intergalactic by the Beastie Boys, I've heard of some wild stuff. From what I understand they are used both to reinforce some of the material and to diffuse some of the 1L tension of strict socratic method. Someone should contact him about maybe compiling some of them.
1.30.2006 12:17pm
srg (mail):
It would be nicer if you would print your limericks in 5 lines, rather than as prose.
1.30.2006 1:11pm
none (mail):
The Green Bag frequently publishes poems about cases. Perhaps this kid should submit his!
1.30.2006 1:23pm
Bob Loblaw (www):
There once was a man named Zywicki
Whose young student (I know this seems picky)
Wrote some verse for his Prof
But his cadence was off*
The construction of Limericks is tricky

*ever so slightly
1.30.2006 2:08pm
SlimAndSlam:
A letter to TZ (or Kevan):
A limerick thread would be heaven!
We'd submit our law verses
For praises or curses.
(I think you'd receive at least seven.)
1.30.2006 2:49pm
nooner (mail) (www):
For torts poetry see R. Perry Sentell, Jr., Torts In Verse: The Foundational Cases, 39 Ga. L. Rev. 1197 (2005).
1.30.2006 3:19pm
Steve S:
This reminds me: for some time I have wanted to get my hands on something one of my professors read us in law school, and maybe somebody here knows the piece. It's a piece about the difficulties of being a lawyer and how at the end of the engagement the lawyer gets no thanks, only a complaint about the size of the fee. Anybody know the one I'm thinking of? I think either Karl Llewellyn (it could be from The Bramble Bush) or Bill Prosser wrote it.
1.30.2006 4:28pm
mariner (mail):
Beautiful!
1.30.2006 5:26pm
Stan Morris (mail):
Steve S:

Perhaps you are thinking of the Carl Sandberg poem quoted in its entirety in the Bramble Bush. The poem is

"The Laweyers know Too Much"

and discusses the fine points of our profession.
1.31.2006 4:25pm
Corey Bean (mail):
An edit to satisfy Bob Loblaw (who has a fifth line with eleven syllables). So, yes, I am granting your point by re-writing. Thanks for the limerick:

There once was a man from Nantucket
Who bought sperm oil by the bucket,
And tried to evade
A contract he made
But courts did not let him duck it.

Lady Adams’s arrival just might
Not have provoked such a fight
But parties did wrestle
On whether the vessel
Must be anchored or only in sight.
2.1.2006 11:42am
Bob Loblaw (www):
There once was a student, defensive
To respond I'm a bit apprehensive
But sir "limerick" it's true
Can have syllables two*
Your retort to my rhyme is offensive**

*Main Entry: lim·er·ick
Pronunciation: 'li-m&-rik, 'lim-rik

**Corey - totally kidding, I like your limericks. My fifth line is meant to be read with the two-syllable "limerick", therefore only ten syllables, but most importantly with the word accents matching the meter scheme.
2.1.2006 4:47pm
Corey Bean (mail):
Glad you are not serriously offended by my pushing back. Another good one, though.
2.1.2006 7:07pm
Bob Loblaw (www):
Not offended at all, my friend Corey
Pushing back was offesa minore
Best of luck on your test
When you flesh out the rest
Of your lyrical sperm oil story
2.2.2006 6:45pm