English student rendered unable to speak in prose

Literature Satire

Image Credit: Sampson Low (CC BY 2.0)

Note: the article that follows is a work of satire, and therefore should not be taken as factual

After attempting to read the whole of Edmund Spenser’s “The Faerie Queene” over the summer vacation, English undergraduate Heather Barnet is no longer able to speak normally.

Barnet was trying to complete her vacation work for a collection on Elizabethan literature in Michaelmas, but as a result of this massive dose of poetry she can now communicate only in iambic pentameter.

Miss Barnet confirmed the reports, saying to The Oxford Student: “Alas, tis true, by accident most strange / That only in Spenserian form can I / Express myself and word for word exchange…”

Barnet continued in Spenserian stanzas for several hundred lines on this theme.

The second year student is set to receive treatment from the English Faculty in Michaelmas, in the form of an intensive course of Keats.

Dr. Dan Hack-Need, her tutor, assured us that this is entirely normal: “Tis not beyond our ken: be sure of that…”