SOME LAWYERS HAVE WRITTEN POEMS ABOUT COVID AND THE LAW, I’VE JUST READ IT TWICE NOW AND I’M SIMPLY IN AWE
Quite a few decades – possibly to the day – since I finished my A Level English Literature exam I find myself reviewing a book of poetry. (Mrs Turner and Mr Payne were right, these skills would come in handy one day).
“I need to get a bookcase for the background of my Zoom
I need to get a bookcase for an intellectual room.”
Lockdown Lawyers is a book of poetry, published by the Legal Action Group and edited by Emma Trevett and John Whitfield QC, to raise money for the Law Centres Network. There are a range of contributors. Most poems describe the difficulties of working or living in the pandemic.
SHOULD YOU BUY IT?
The real purpose of any book review is to help you decide whether you should spend your money on the book in question. The answer to this is, unequivocally, yes. This is definitely £8.00 well spent.
The book covers a wide range of topics and, importantly, emotions in a way that only poetry can. I should stress that none of the poems have the poor rhyming quality of the title of this post. There are a range of poems. Some with titles that lawyers will recognise “It was Corona time in Kent”.
Poetry, like most art, is intensely personal. There a few examples that struck me. The poem “In Limbo”:
“Barristers who live and breathe their work
Miss it terribly
But are frightened to go back to it
Because living and breathing it
Could mean dying from it.”
A haiku, “Covid without my clerk”
“Inkjet printer woes
Two thousand pages to go
Black ink running low“
“Clerking in Covid”
“I thought working in Chambers caused me stress.
And now working from home would cause me less.
But, have you ever tried explaining to a Barrister how to use Egress”.
There is humour here, some of it dark. The final lines of Criminal Defence Solicitor Blues
“There is no PPE for us, we must provide our own
but I couldn’t find a mask or gloves lying around at home.
Still I went to that police station and I represented Fred
But Fred had Covid-19. And now me and Fred are DEAD.“
I cannot think of a reason not to buy this book. It is not expensive, it is profound, it is funny. It is for a good cause.
Details, including multiple purchases, are available here.