English 211--Quiz #0 (SAMPLE--DON'T FAINT!)
Topic: Robert Herrick, "Upon His Verses" (1647?)
[Assume you've read the following text for class, like a careful student.]
Upon His Verses
What offspring other men have got,
The how, where, when I question not.
These are the children I have left;
Adopted some, none got by theft.
But all are touched (like lawful plate)
And no verse illegitimate.
[The questions below are typical of those I'll ask in quizzes--of course, you won't be able to use your notes or the book so you'll want to have reviewed what you read before class so you can remember it!]
1) What metaphor does Herrick use to describe verses?
2) Name one kind of "verse" he describes in this metaphor. Use the words he uses.
3) Interpret that language. How does that metaphor apply to the results of writing poetry?
4) What is "lawful plate" and how is it "touched"?
5) Using his metaphor, describe a kind of poetic creation Herrick would scorn.
Extra credit: In the early 1970s, a U.S. civil court agreed that the melody of George Harrison's song, "My Sweet Lord," was essentially identical to the Chiffons' earlier song, "He's So Fine," and the ex-Beatle paid a substantial portion of his song's profits to them. What would Herrick call "My Sweet Lord"? For a fascinating (to a lawyer) description of the convoluted case against Harrison, see Joseph C. Self's "The 'My Sweet Lord' / 'He's So Fine' Plagiarism Suit." What's really good about the article is its detailed discussion of the judge's method of determining whether the melodies of the two tunes were sufficiently identical to warrant the suit, and how much money one song on an album could be credited with earning. Even better is Self's ingenious demolition of the basic assumption that the melody (even if stolen outright and intentionally, which nobody claimed) was responsible for the song's popularity (vs. what, you ask? Why the lyrics, of course!).