Document Type



In this article, Professor Edward Eberle and Professor Bernhard Grossfeld contend that law can better be understood by looking at it in a more complete way, including its interaction with culture, environment and other phenomena. Here we examine the intriguing relationship between law and poetry.

Our investigation discloses that law and poetry share important relations and exert mutual influence on each other. For example, law and poetry share language as their working medium; language shapes the chaos of experience in law and poetry; and law and poetry are products of human ingenuity and imagination.

Even more interesting than the interrelationship between the two is their mutual influence on each other. For example, law and poetry both reflect the culture they are situated in and help constitute that culture. Study of poetry reveals important insight into the structure and use of language, which can uncover discreet, even immanent, patterns in the law.

These observations lead to our point: since law reflects culture and can also help infuse culture, we need a deeper understanding of the forces at work that comprise a culture so that we can better understand the operation of law. Examination of the underside of law is necessary if we are to obtain greater insight into the culture on which law operates. Our study of law and poetry is a contribution to this end.

Date of Authorship for this Version

March 2005