Strangers to Us All
Lawyers and Poetry

Alfred D. Kelly

New York

dust jacket photograph

Alfred D. Kelly, Legalaffs
(Philadelphia: Dorrance & Co., 1972)

The "foreword" to Alfred D. Kelly, Yesterday Revisited (Anne-Marie Atwell ed.) provides the following brief glimpse of Kelly's life:

[Alfred D. Kelly], a retired corporation lawyer, was counsel for the Delaware and Hudson Railroad Corporation for many years before retiring . . . . He now lives at Teresian House, Albany, New York. He is a former member of the National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel; Interstate Commerce Commission Practitioners Association; Claims Division, Association of American Railroads; Law Committee, New York State Railroad Association, and the New York State Bar Associations' Committee on Administrative Law. . . .

Mr. Kelly is a graduate of Watervliet Academy, with a law degree from Albany Law School of Union University, where he was elected permanent president of the Class of 1923.

We located an Alfred Kelly poem, "Judicial Inquiry" in the American Bar Association Journal, vol. 65 (6)(June, 1979), p. 992. Kelly's Yesterday Revisited (1978)(pp. 107-108) contains two poems:

The Yacht Club

We talk of lakes and ocenas blue,
Storms we've weathered, a gallant crew,
But if our listeners only knew,
We own nary a boat or an old canoe.

Although we have a Commodore,
He doesn't know what a poop deck's for,
We never heard of a mizzen mast,
"Make her fast," leaves us falbbergast.

We've declined to sail to Shangri-La'
Or join a cruise to Panama,
In truth most members of our club
Get sea sick in a bath tub.

Thoughts of a boat leaves us terror struck,
The closest we come is a rubber duck,
We're a bunch of guys who as a rule
Demand lifeguards at our wading pool.

So if you've ever owned a boat,
Enjoy that wonderous life afloat,
We hope you will forgive the snub—
You're ineligible to join our club.


Sounds of Yesteryear

Taut wires humming a wintry tune.

Long drawn whistles of the steam locomotives.

The dry, crunchy squeak of sled runners on
hard packed snow.

The noonday hoots of factory whistles.

Church bells (before being drowned by the
roar of traffic).

The not-so-sweet but singular rattle of
trolley cars.

The polite "beep-beep" of early manual auto-
mobile horns

The low-pitched mooing of the cows and the clat-
ter of excited hens.

The cheerful crackle of good oak in a wood-
burning stove.

The tinckle of the bell on the party-line
wall telephone.

Would that we could trade these
for today's raucous, nerve-jangling



Alfred D. Kelly, Rhyme Without Reason (1978)


Alfred D. Kelly, Legalaffs (Philadelphia: Dorrance & Co., 1972)

____________, Yesterday Revisited ([S.I.: s.n.]: 1978)

[We find no OCLC listing for Rhyme Without Reason]