Sonnet Composed by William Kunstler for Karen Ranucci and Michael Ratner’s Wedding – PDF

1988 Wedding Sonnet Composed by William Kunstler

We’re gathered here today to view

The legal union of two friends:

The lawyer from his Center desk –

The splicer from her filmy ends.


They’ve been together quite a while

And shared a Greenwich Village nest

With several cats, a bird or two,

And rebels from the east and west.


In just three months, they’ll reproduce,

By all let this be heard,

The bride will lose her awesome girth

And they’ll increase by just a third.


The invitation talked of guns

As necessary to persuade

The groom to make an honest wench

Of his enceinte Italian maid.


But we all know there was no need

Of Uzis’ or bazookas’ aid

For Michael finally to propose

And have a family ready-made.


It is no longer comme it faut

For anyone who’s new to wed

To prove to all the watching crowd

That they are also new to bed.


We’ll overtake the mugwumps’ lead

If we can up our birthing rate

And fill the land with radicals

Who’ll run the world that we create.


To Michael, Karen, and Unknown,

We wish the best of everything,

A joyous life for three (or more)

And all that love and hope can bring.


For we have learned that, in this vale,

With all its transitory parts,

There’s little in the end remains

[line missing].


To Nicaragua and the rest,

Now that the looney’s almost gone,

We wish for well-deserved peace

Where decent people struggle on;


No break-ins by the FBI,

And sanctuary not a crime,

No Howard Beaches on the scene

Or police who fire out of time;


A place for all to lay their heads

And not to fear for their next meal;

An end to dread of nuclear war

And those who kill and maim and steal.


We know that all will not be well

Simply because these two are wed,

But it’s a start, we must agree,

To maybe better days ahead.


So keep your powder dry, my friends,

And don’t forget tomorrow’s fight;

But, for today, let’s celebrate

This prelude to the nuptial night.


This poem is really over now,

For which you’ll breathe a silent prayer;

It isn’t Shakespeare, that’s for sure,

Or Bacon’s words, but who’s to care.


As long as we’re about to start

A wedding feast of drink and food,

A little doggerel may well

Create a very hungry mood.


If not, your pardon I do beg,

But you’re a most forgiving bunch;

If rhyme is weak, the spirit’s strong,

And now let’s get ourselves to lunch.