Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Civil Liberties Sonnet

(photo is of Roger Baldwin, founder of the American Civil Liberties Union)

Civil Liberties Sonnet

A civil liberty might be defined
As a chance to have a prayer to defend
Oneself against a power that's aligned
With secrecy and certitude, that's then
Brought out much of the worst in some
Of the cohort who enjoy power, which tends
To unhinge folks. What, however, has been done
Might be undone, with rights restored to mend
The rips in practices that hold a clear
And wary view of power. Checks and rein
And oversights on reign: basic but dear.
Unbounded power just tends to go insane.
Since that's the way it is, that which concerns
Our civil liberties is a priority that burns.

Hans Ostrom Copyright 2008 Hans Ostrom
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