Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Justice, or Poetic Justice

"Justice was like coloured balls in a magician's hand, 
changing colour and shape all the time beneath the light of politics.” 

“Peace": the fruit of justice done especially to the Self.” 

“The white man will never be alone. Let him be just, 
and deal kindly with my people. For the dead are not powerless.” 

File:Braunschweig Brunswick Justitia (2006).jpg
“Justitia” by Bodo Kampmann.

Midweek Motif ~ Justice 
or Poetic Justice

Have you experienced or seen justice?  Whereas Justice is a social and legal concept, Poetic Justice is a literary device. I always found poetic justice much more satisfying! Examples of poetic justice:
  • Disney films, most specifically animated films, often use poetic justice as an ending device with the hero being rewarded, and the villain being punished in ironic and, occasionally, fatal ways.
  • The Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner cartoons feature repeated instances of poetic justice, as Wile E. Coyote always sets traps for Road Runner, only to end up in the traps himself.
  • Oedipus Rex in trying to prevent his foretold fate brings it upon himself as does King Kamsa in the ancient Sanskrit story of Krishna.

Your Challenge:  Create a poem centering on Justice or Poetic Justice.  


By Langston Hughes

That Justice is a blind goddess
Is a thing to which we black are wise:
Her bandage hides two festering sores
That once perhaps were eyes.

I am unjust, but I can strive for justice.
My life’s unkind, but I can vote for kindness.
I, the unloving, say life should be lovely.
I, that am blind, cry out against my blindness.

Man is a curious brute—he pets his fancies—
Fighting mankind, to win sweet luxury.
So he will be, though law be clear as crystal,
Tho’ all men plan to live in harmony.

Come, let us vote against our human nature,
Crying to God in all the polling places
To heal our everlasting sinfulness
And make us sages with transfigured faces.

What will we do
when there is nobody left
to kill?


40,000 gallons of oil gushing into
the ocean
But I
sit on top this mountainside above
the Pacific
checking out the flowers
the California poppies orange
as I meet myself in heat
                           I’m wondering
where’s the Indians?

                           all this filmstrip territory
                           all this cowboy sagaland:
                           a single Indian
                           in sight
. . . .

(Read the rest HERE at The Poetry Foundation.)


For those who are new to Poets United: 
  • Post your Justice poem on your site, and then link it here.
  • Share only original and new work written for this challenge. 
  • If you use a picture include its link.  
  • Please leave a comment here and visit and comment on our poems.
(Next Week's motif is Honoring our Elders)
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  1. Hey cool I m first..! :D

    Its Wednesday once again...! Sharing my poem on poetic justice... which is based on a true event in my life..! Hope you guys like it :D

    Lots of love

    1. Good to see you Sanaa. I'll be over to read your poem in a minute.

    2. Hello Susan :D
      Your poem was amazing..!
      Good to see you too love :D

  2. Welcome to Midweek Motif, Poets United! In my poem I have danced around this topic as if ideas of justice filled me with too much emotion to write about. I need justice, though, as much as I need love. And I'll keep living it and writing poems about it until I get it right. Looking forward to your poems!

  3. Good theme this week, Susan. Mine's up.

  4. I am upright but not fully Up, LOL, tired and headachey still. Interesting prompt, our family had a website called Poetic Justice once some years back. Here is a cute story about justice. I was proudly wearing my Amnesty International t-shirt which had the word Justice across the front and I noticed my then six year old grandson staring at me. He asked me what does "Just Ice" mean,. Grandma?" and I cracked up. Given our family history of alcoholism, I could just see all the relatives, down thru the years, holding up their empty glasses, tinkling their ice cubes (as they did to signal they needed a refill). LOL. I emailed Amnesty that story and they said it made their day.

    1. Remember Joni Mitchell's song "Sex Kills" in which Justice is Just Ice? Thnks for the story!

  5. Thought provoking theme, love the quotes, first two, Susan. Thank you!

  6. a great prompt Susan...i'm in and will make my rounds tomorrow as it's past midnight..yawn...

  7. Couldn't resist making something of Wile E's plight...

  8. Susan,

    I worked hard to find my direction with the subject. As with Sanaa, a section of my poem holds a scary memory for me. Prison escapees in Belfast, while I was working as a nurse, in the next door clinic which was impacted. The experience still remains with me today and was the end of my nursing days, very sadly.
    I've written with certain real life persons in mind...Justice has reached most of them!!

  9. Thank you for your nice comment .It has disappeared into the ether for some reason or other. Some interesting poems this week... Enjoyed the prompt.

    1. As usual, my email told me it wasn't deliverable. Perhaps it has become true!

  10. being reciprocated is a form of poetic justice

    1. Yes. Your blog seems to be unavailable!

    2. Here the right link, Susan:

    3. Post it! Sorry for doing it myself, Marcantonio. :)

  11. I am sorry!
    As usual, I am late again, Susan. It's getting hotter and hotter, and scorching weather impairs even the ability to think...smiles.
    Thanks for the wonderful prompt.

    1. Not late! Not until Saturday. You are welcome, you and your unique visions. I didn't know the heat was already oppressive there. May you find comfortable rooms to write in!

  12. Hi Susan, finally a motif I can relate to...creatively, hehe. Sorry for my lateness I've been busy with alot of things lately. Hope you like this one!!! It's a smile for everyone!!!

    1. I love your poem, your vision. You are not late--not until Saturday. Thanks for visiting our poems too.

  13. I am late to the party - the wireless is sketchy but then I am at the beach so who can blame the wireless for not wanting to jump the waves as well.

    1. I'm glad I checked back! Joyful time at the beach.

  14. I am delighted to submit one of my favorite poems.
    Love the topic.
    May everyone receive justice.

    1. A good prayer. I usually don't return here on a Saturday, but I'm glad I did for yours. Is this newly written by you for this prompt?


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