Sunday, April 26, 2009

"Stopping to Buy SparkNotes on a Snowy Evening:" A Poem for the End of the Semester

The end of the semester means utter panic for most students. The deluge of studying, finals, and papers can overwhelm even the most diligent, most hard-working, most organized individual. Right now, I feel like I am drowning in paperwork and projects, but this is only to be expected.

Although I have always had a love/hate relationship with CliffsNotes and SparkNotes, I find the following poem somewhat charming. It manages to take the beloved Robert Frost poem on meditating on life, death, and mortality and makes it into a rather effective way of shilling SparkNotes. While the poem's main point (use SparkNotes and pass your classes!) isn't really that truthful (SparkNotes will give you the main ideas from a piece of literature but most teachers are wise to this), it does put a humorous spin on the craziness of the next few weeks.

For those of you who are preparing to start this final push for the semester, good luck (and use SparkNotes with a great deal of discretion :).

Stopping to Buy SparkNotes on a Snowy Evening
(a homage to Robert Frost by the editors of SparkNotes)

Whose words these are you think you know.
Your paper's due tomorrow, though;
We're glad to see you stopping here
To get some help before you go.

Lost your course? You'll find it here.
Face tests and essays without fear.
Between the words, good grades at stake;
Get great results throughout the year.

Once school bells caused your heart to quake
As teachers circled each mistake.
Use SparkNotes and no longer weep,
Ace every single test you take.

Yes, books are lovely, dark and deep,
But only what you grasp you keep.
With hours to go before you sleep,
With hours to go before you sleep.


Shmooper said...

How clever. If you'd like to check out analysis of the original poem, go to Shmoop is a new online learning and teaching resource that covers literature, history, and poetry. Shmoop’s study guides are a fun read, includes links and multi-media, and is written by a bunch of Ph.D. and Masters students from schools like Stanford, Harvard, and Berkeley. It's worth checking out!