Jasmine's Reviews > The Drunken Driver Has the Right of Way: Poems

The Drunken Driver Has the Right of Way by Ethan Coen
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Jun 09, 2009

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bookshelves: american
Read in June, 2009

John said something to me earlier that perfectly echoes the namesake poem in this book. "Smart kids don't tend to do as well because they don't try when they think they might fail" or something like that, hopefully. That is the basic idea of the drunken driver. It is not that legally we should allow the drunken driver the right of way. It is simply saying that a reasonable person will always get out of the way of a crazy person thereby allowing the crazy person to win. This is why the world sucks.

This is by no stretch of the imagination "good" poetry. Whatever that is. Which honestly works well for me because I am not really the type of person that tends to have any interest in good poetry. I mean I can recognize it but I will never enjoy it the way that I obsess of Silverstein and Carroll. Being such I give you a taste:

"The loudest have the final say,
the wanton win, the rash hold sway,
the realist's rules of order say
the drunken driver has the right of way"

"if you can count your complement
of digits up to twenty
you could give a toe or finger to
a friend, and still have plenty.

You could even lend an ear to an
unfortunate with none
but by no means hand out noses
since of those you have but one"

This is very good advice.

In short, the writing is a bit crap (sometimes very crap) But it will make you smile enough times to make up for it. If you don't believe me read the 15 pages of limericks in the center, a nice sampling of the good the bad and the ugly.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Seth (new)

Seth Haha, making an incredibly vague yet grandiose statement and then saying "whatever that means" is my new favorite rhetorical device. It is a tacit admission that we have no idea what the hell we're actually talking about, but we will continue to talk about it anyway until someone comes up with something better.


Jasmine well I don't like good poetry making that phrase inherently silly.


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