Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Poetic Justice, Indeed

Middlebury College professor and writer Jay Parini's essay on A Case of Poetic Justice first appeared in the Washington Post on June 22, 2008. To summarize: a few kids in Vermont vandalized Robert Frost's summer home back in December (i.e. - broke in and threw a blowout) , were caught and part of their "sentence" (community service) was to discuss Frost's poetry with Parini. As he points out in his essay - that's hardly "punishment" and as it turned out, it was a revealing lesson to those kids.

Parini recently wrote a book on "Why Poetry Matters" (do you sense a theme on my blog here?), and his essay is brilliant in demonstrating that, yes, it does matter. To those kids, he was able to get through to them the challenge of choice and following the "road not taken."

Poetry is not punishment and its magic is when you can apply it to your own life (or even take you out of your own life for a while).

I won't rehash his entire essay - it's best if you read it for yourself. If you've never read Frost or the quintessential "The Road Not Taken" - do yourself a favor. You can thank me later.

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