Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Poetic justice?

Today's AP Wire features a story highlighting the fact that more than two dozen youngsters who trashed Robert Frost's former home have been ordered to take classes in which they study his poetry as part of their punishment. Last December 28, a large group of teenagers broke into Frost's place, had a beer party and completely trashed the place, causing approximately $10,000 in property damage. Now many of them are making good by going to classes in which they read poems like "The Road Not Taken" and other Frost classics.

"I guess I was thinking that if these teens had a better understanding of who Robert Frost was and his contribution to our society, that they would be more respectful of other people's property in the future and would also learn something from the experience," prosecutor John Quinn told AP reporter John Curran.

On the surface, this punishment seems especially apropos. But in the bigger picture, the exposure this AP story receives will only help perpetuate the idea that reading poetry equates with punishment, hardly the message that poetry loves want broadcasted all over the country.

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