“At every word, a reputation dies,” wrote 18th century poet Alexander Pope in his epic parody The Rape of the Lock. Too bad Princeton High School assistant principal Sean Yisrael failed to heed Pope’s words. Yisrael was recently put on administrative leave for sharing his verse (from his self-published book Words of a Poet) with two students—who promptly copied and distributed it around the Sharonville, Ohio high school. Several parents who read the poems cried foul and swiftly accused Ysirael of peddling pornography. Turns out a few of the poems contained sexual content and bore suggestive titles such as “I Like Big Women,” “The Nasty Man in Me,” and “Is It a Crime?” And while the answer to the latter seems to be “no,” Ysirael could lose his job. School district officials have yet to decide his fate. In his favor, Princeton School District spokesperson (and suspected Yisrael groupie) Robyn Allgeyer stated, “It’s [Yisrael’s work] not pornography. It’s poetry that includes some parts that are of a sexual nature.” Gadfly is no literary critic, but perhaps next time Mr. Yisrael might shun the muse--or just leave his “Nasty Man” at home.
“Sexual Poetry Causes Uproar,” by Michael D. Clark, The Cincinnati Enquirer, February 22, 2007.