ENEC 313: Restoration and Eighteenth-Century British Literature
Exercise #2

Due at the start of class on Tuesday, February 18.

Your assignment this time is to compose a poem in heroic couplets. You must write at least 15 couplets--i.e., 30 lines, but you're free to write at greater length (within reason!) Try to use as many of the formal features of English poetry, as listed on the first poetry handout (alliteration, assonance, chiasmus, etc.) as you can. For your subject matter, use one of the following little stories, collected from recent News of the Weird items in the Washington Post. You can be creative, using these stories as a jumping-off point to your poem. Try to use some of the features of this kind of poetry--alliteration, anaphora, chiasmus, etc.--that we've discussed in class.

1. Albuquerque police charged a man with carjacking three people and making off with an Acura that, according to a detective, contained one of the best stereo systems in town. The man was busted after he later called one of the victims and said, "I don't want there to be hard feelings, but how do you hook up your amp?" The call was traced to the man's cell phone, and he was arrested. He denies making the call.

2. The U. S.-based video game company Acclaim Entertainment announced that it would "raise advertising to a new level" by offering to defray funeral costs for any family willing to put a billboard on the game of the deceased. After the Church of England said that it wouldn't allow any of the so-called "deadverts" in its cemetaries, the company's spokesman allowed that the idea was just a hoax to bring attention to its newest game, "Shadowman: 2econd Coming."

3. Carol Urness, a recently retired librarian, opened a used-book store in Minnesota, consisting of about 1,000 volumes from her own collection, but told a reporter that often, after a customer selects a book to buy, she refuses to sell it because she can't stand to part with it. "The first day, a woman walked in and bought three books," she said, "and I about had a stroke." She added: "This bookstore is hard to find, and once you get here, it's almost impossible to buy anything.

4. Iowa City High School won the Iowa State Math Championship in April, but when officials rechecked the scores hours later, they discovered that they had added them up wrong and named West High School (also from Iowa City) the winner.