law and order: trial by poem

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Thursday, April 05, 2007
Tomorrow (Friday) I go and sit for what may be hours and hours or may be no time at all to see if I'll be selected for jury duty. I've made the call the summons told me to make -- I was informed to allow 45 minutes to clear security. This seems crazy, but this is the world we live in. I have 2 issues of The Believer that I haven't read yet and a large capacity for people watching, so it should be interesting no matter how long it takes. The summons informed me that this was for a special session of the blah blah circuit court, and due to the complexity of the case blah blah, I could expect to serve three weeks if selected-- maybe longer. (I always picture the judge arriving on horseback for circuit court, like in a western!) Anyway, we'll see.

In more exciting news, April is National Poetry Month! I wanted to make at least some acknowledgment before the first week was over. Honestly, I kind of forgot about it, but I must have known subconsciously because I have all of these poem-y things checked out of the library and am hopping around at the prospect of the Charles Simic reading Monday. My inner cheapskate (reactionary, boring) is APPALLED that this reading is 18.00, but my inner Simic-lover (possessed, determined) will prevail.

Ooh, right. Here's what I have going on poetry-wise from the library:

++ just finished Essential Dickinson: Selected with an introduction by Joyce Carol Oats. MY GOD! I'll have more on this later (quelle suprise!), but for now I'll say that I had no idea that she was so obsessed with The Brain and Madness, and I started ripping my bookmark (library hold slip) into ever smaller pieces to mark poems that made my mouth hang open. (This was in the bathtub, so it's trickier than it sounds.)

++ just picked up a Charles Simic volume that I have yet to read -- this was before I realized he'd be here on Monday! I should probably be more forgiving of that other library Simic-reader out there who always seems to be foiling my renewal and checking out plans, because he or she did return this before they had to.

++ have a volume by Stephen Dobyns IN TRANSIT to me! I'd never heard of him at all until a couple of days ago when I stumbled across one of his poems on some other Poetry Month celebrator's blog.

++ There's a Mary Oliver volume that has been sitting on my shelf for a couple of months now. I've liked what I've read of her previously (although what I've read tends to quietly powerful beauty rather than the bottom of my heart just fell out and was replaced by sparklers excitement I get from my very favorite poets), but I haven't started this book yet.. maybe because it's titled Winter Hours and I'm in spring mode? I should probably just open it up and see instead of making it into some sort of Schrödinger's poetry collection.

Okay, I should go to bed at a reasonable hour so I don't look so disreputable in the morning that I am forced into the EXTRA security security line. But first, here's a Dickinson poem on the topic of The Crazy, and How The Man Doesn't Get That My Crazy Is Actually Very Sane:


Much Madness is divinest Sense--
To a discerning Eye--
Much Sense--the starkest Madness--
'Tis the Majority
In this, as All, prevail--
Assent--and you are sane--
Demur--you're straightaway dangerous--
And handled with a Chain--

Any favorite poems or poets? I'm always looking for somebody new (or old) since I have very scattered/limited poetry exposure.
3 comments on "law and order: trial by poem"
  1. So, how did it go with jury duty? Were you selected? I always thought that I would love to be on a jury...

  2. There were aprox 130 people there, which was then winnowed down to 75, from which they will select a jury of 12. I am in the group of 75, so I don't know yet! (and it was a computer-generated winnowing rather than any kind of "you appear to be fair and just" or merit-based winnowing -- the luck of the draw!) We 75 had to fill out questionnaires which the lawyers will no doubt base their relentless Tuesday jury-grilling on. (of course maybe it's all sunshine and lollipops rather than relentless grilling.) It's very interesting and I'm glad I got to see what goes on to this stage, but I would be okay with not advancing to the next round, if you know what I mean.

  3. I still think it is super cool. I like questionnaires as well. I like answering questions about me.


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