The letter of the law
and the spirit of the law

“Portia and Shylock” by Thomas Sully, 1835

cannot live together:

seeing eye to eye can
never be, for letter forms,
it carves, demanding
to be read, while spirit,
loathing limitation, flies
away the instant ink and
chisel are set down.

On the other hand…

The Spirit of the letter
of the law and Letter
of the spirit of the law
have never been apart—
in spirit form, we travel
everywhere as one. If this
is what you see for you
and me, or you and she,
or he and me, and you can
celebrate that I am not your
letter, you my form, then
sights behold that we might
see each other gracefully within
the folds of space and time.


© Elaine Stirling 2012