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Penn State scandal brings poem to mind

November 30, 2011
Margaret Blair Testrake
Dear Editor,

It is said that art sometimes imitates life. This can be said for poetry too. The current sex abuse scandal at Penn State and people involved remind me of the poet T. S Eliot and his work “Four Quartets.” To quote the last quartet, “Little Gidding”:

And last, the rending pain of re-enactment

Of all that you have done, and been, the shame

Of motives late revealed, and the awareness

Of things ill done and done to others harm

Which once you took for exercise of virtue

Then fool’s approval stings, and honour stains

From wrong to wrong the exasperated spirit

Proceeds, unless restored by that refining fire

Where you must move in measure, like a dancer

These words reflect the alleged choices of those in charge at Penn State who failed morally and legally to protect young boys against a sexual deviate. Let’s hope and pray all involved will someday be restored by that “refining fire” of truth, integrity and justice.

Margaret Blair Testrake

Ripley, N.Y.



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