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Q: I dread writing a report for my Early British Literature class. Is there a piece I can focus on that will satisfy my professor while still keeping me amused with crude humor?

A: You've come to the right place, friend.

In terms of mixing historical relevance, academic consideration and outright potty humor, one certainly can not go wrong with “The Censure of the Parliament Fart,” a 1607 masterpiece that has been attributed to a number of authors including John Hoskyns, Richard Martin, Edward Jones and Christopher Brooke.

The poem stems from a March 4, 1607 meeting of the Commons in which one Henry Ludlow let loose with a quite audible rip during the reading of a message from the Lords. The fart had the effect of breaking the political hall down into a room of snickering schoolboys, leaving the messenger quite flummoxed.

Like all great moments in history, this was recorded in a poetic form that wafted throughout the populace. Some changes were made over the years, but a sound rendition can be found at the Early Stuart Libels, at The words “fart” and “farting” occur 14 times within the 50-line poem, providing an official Immature Giggle Ratio (IGR) of  28 percent — quite good.

The poem treats the rear-facing outburst as if it was a motion (legally speaking, as I'm sure most everyone has found a flatulent episode quite moving at one point in their lives), with the other Parliamentary members addressing it as such. A sample:

Quoth Sir Jerome in folio, I sweare by the Masse
This Fart was enough to have brooke all my Glasse
Indeed quoth Sir Trevor it gave a fowle knock
As it lanched forth from his stincking Docke.

Please note ye olde tyme spellinng: big bonus points in academic authenticity. And this piece has indeed been studied with a critical eye by a number of the professorial and research elite — or at least people who've dreamed to have the word “fart” published as many times as possible. I'm not here to split hairs.

In “The English Wits: Literature and Sociability in Early Modern England” (2007, Cambridge University Press), Michelle O'Callaghan notes that “the poem proceeds through prosopopeia, comic impersonation. An embodied mode, it attributes a sociocorporeality to the text in which the writing is analogous to face-to-face interaction.” I honestly have no idea what she means, but “prosopopeia” seemed like a fittingly funny word to use here.

In case you were wondering, there's evidence that Ludlow's poot heard 'round the Parliament was not deliberate, as Robert Boyer, a clerk in attendance that day, wrote that he was not surprised because “his Father Sir Edward Ludloe before a Committee fell on sleepe and sonitum ventre emisit [you can guess what that means]: So this seemeth Infirmity Naturall, not Malice.”
Guess these shouldn't really go to waste, so now they'll be part of my gallery. I really did enjoy creating them.
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Daily Deviation

Given 2009-03-27
A Literautre Question by `triptychr is a piece both humorous and informative, and even manages to poke fun at over-analysis by literary critics. Best of all, “The Censure of the Parliament Fart” is a real poem, allowing you to introduce it into discussions on Renaissance poetry. ( Featured by SparrowSong )
Harrion Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2010
Witty and interesting piece. Nice.
athena24 Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2010
Jane Austen has a wicked sense of humor. Northanger Abbey makes fun of the romantic novel.
D3vious-n00b Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2010
Woah, this is quite amusing!
Um, I'm new to deviantart, and can you tell me how to submit literature stuff?
triptychr Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
I'll try. It's much the same as submitting normal art. Click on "Submit Deviation" and follow the instructions. Just make sure to click on the "Add Text" button under "Which file?".
D3vious-n00b Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2010
Oh, ok, thanks!
gierose Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2009
This is crazy. XD :clap:
cr8edbyamy Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2009
I hear you. When I took British Lit. it killed me. I had a 4.0 GPA up until that damn class!
mariabumby Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2009
This is a wonderful read :D
suspenlute Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2009
I found this highly entertaining. Thanks for sharing it. :D

Though I can't help but also recommend Ben Johnson's "On The Famous Voyage," which references this "event" and also deals with an even stinkier situation. ;)
TwistedAlyx Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
I think I love you.
Urikson Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2009
As a third year English undergraduate I found this work to be pure gold. Thanks!
jochanaan Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2009
"A sound rendition"!! I love it! :rofl:
aillesdors Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2009
Hehe! That was hilarious and intelligent :) Just for the record, "prosopopeia" is just the really pretentious way to say "personification." (... Er... yeah, I'm an English major.) But hey, thanks for bringing that to my attention - it's a side of Brit Lit I haven't studied yet XD
triptychr Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
I see what you did there. :lol:
aillesdors Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2009
I figured you might XD
Mozart-the-Cat Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2009  Student General Artist
You have made my day. Thank you for informing the masses of this outstanding piece of literature. XD
ShadowNeko13 Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer

Oh dear god. I can't fucking stop laughing right now. You, good sir, are made of epic win. :D
LucidLumi Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
*giggles then bursts in to outright laughter* Thank you so must. Just... thank you. :lmao:
Supaslim Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2009  Professional General Artist
Thank you for introducing me to this poem. XDD I shall now have to read it to my friends, classmates, and English teachers.
Schizo-Of-Destiny Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm an English Language and Culture student, so this was really interesting for me to read. Brilliant poem, by the way. :XD: I'll definitely want to read the full version.
Thank you for uploading this to your gallery! You definitely deserve the daily deviation feature. Keep up the good work!
superkumquat Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2009
This is freaking hilarious. Wish I knew about it last semester...
Ionait Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2009
It was a fun read! Thanks for deciding to put this up. Congrats on the DD. :)
denlm Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2009
As a former English literature teacher, I salute you! Vocally, of course.
thespes Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
neversaythehit Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2009
I'm not English man. Could you tell me in easy english what it is going about? I understood the guy wanted a bit crude humor poem to show his teacher.
triptychr Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
This may be hard. ^^;

You are right. The guy wants to know about a crude humor poem. The answer talks about the poem and why it would be good to use. The question is not real, but the poem the answer talks about is.

I hope I helped you.
neversaythehit Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2009
Well, it sure helped. I really thought there were people who asked you such questions. :D

kizzy-face Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist amazing.

and I have not yet taken british literature.
so this will be at my disposal.

I love you so much right now. <33
NightHauntaChika Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2009
You'd think that back then such topics were taboo!
I have sooooo gotta read the rest of the poem XD
Isn't it so funny how some of the words are capitalised? Why do they do that? Anyway, it makes "fart" even funnier - "Fart".

Omigosh I am so immature.

Very well written.
O-V-P Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2009
:D Hilarious! And so smartly written, some of the language was just beyond my comprehension! :P
redfeatherraven Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2009
oh god, it IS a real poem.

i feel all warm and fuzzy inside, and i do so VERY hope that isn't just gas. :3
mystical-machine-gun Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2009
Very witty. ;)
BlackjackGabbiani Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2009
That's awesome. Although I have to wonder--is "literature" meant to be spelled as "literautre" in the title?
triptychr Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
All the time this has been up, no one has ever noticed that; not even myself! Thanks for pointing it out!
BlackjackGabbiani Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2009
Hey, any time.
MoonSinclair Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2009
This is fantastic and very well written.
triggerfinger Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2008
I love how the word Fart had a capital F.

Were I ever to write something on this topic, I will no longer have to be afraid to include some toilet humour.

Tim, amusing *and* educational. How can I ever thank you? ;)
triptychr Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2008  Hobbyist Writer
You're reading is thanks enough for me. :)
SparrowSong Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2008  Hobbyist Writer
This article reminds me of Gwerful Mechain, the most famous female Welsh-language poet.

Good article, by the way. You had me convinced you were making this up until I search-engine-d it.
neonxaos Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2008  Hobbyist Writer
God, that's excellent! Had I only know about that one when I was doing British Lit. :)
b1gfan Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2008  Student Writer
fun fun fun fun fun fun
thzinc Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2008  Hobbyist Photographer
As a purveyor of fine flatulence, I must show my delight in reading this.

blue-elem3nt Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Good to know that there's historical writings about epic farts. I may actually put this to good use in future literature classes ^_^
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