Just when you think poetry may be utterly irrelevant in American life

… someone comes along and smashes the face of The Poetry Box.

I mean, wow, that is a statement! One marvels at the fury in the mind of the vandal. Was he or she thinking, “F U Poetry!” Especially “free” poetry.

Was the vandal a disgruntled poet who wants a paycheck?

Perhaps the vandal finds poetry to be just generally infuriating. I know the feeling! Ever try to understand an Ann Carson poem?

Then again, maybe the vandal is afraid of what might happen if poets got the respect in this country that they do in places like… Eastern Europe? Think Obama has it bad, imagine the commie slurs Vaclav Havel would endure here in the U.S.A.? Bad enough Havel was the first freely elected president of Czechoslovakia, but head of the Human Rights Foundation?


Anyway, back to the Poetry Box saga. It was damaged some time Sunday night. The perpetrator tried to hide the glass shards in a nearby planter, perhaps in an attempt at his own public art. Weirdly, the smashed glass left a clean wooden frame. Poetry Box designer John Frechette tells me he can easily install a new glass panel. With an even bolder font: “Free poems weekly.”

Thanks, Vandal! We get bolder lettering because of your perverse attack on free poetry.

Speaking of The Poetry Box (which is a project of JH Public Art, coordinated by yours truly)… By the end of September, the box will be departing its current home outside Valley Bookstore and will be going to reside at Teton County Library, where it will be managed by Oona Doherty, coordinator of spring poetry celebrations.

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