The witty headlines are everywhere: Poetic Justice! From Bad to Verse! The Associated Press reported today that the vandals who broke into Robert Frost's former home in Ripton, Vermont, last December and caused more then ten thousand dollars in damage are being required to take poetry classes as punishment. Twenty-eight people—all but two of them teenagers—were ordered to study "The Road Not Taken" and another poem with Frost biographer Jay Parini.
"I guess I was thinking that if these teens had a better understanding of who Robert Frost was and his contribution to society, that they would be more respectful of other people's property in the future and would also learn something from the experience," said John Quinn, a prosecutor in Addison County, Vermont.
Up to fifty people gathered at Homer Nobel Farm, where Frost spent more than twenty summers before his death in 1963, for an unauthorized party on December 28. They broke windows and antique furniture and soiled carperting with urine and vomit. A hiker discovered the damage the next day and informed authorities at Middlebury College, which owns and maintains the site.
The first mandated poetry class was held last week.