Below is the Canto written by three students in Ms. Smulka's class as part of their Build Your Own Hell assignment.
We ran away from the demons, scrambling down the face,
there I noticed a poster, then many others,
we hoped that the demons would not give us chase.
We fell through a wall of propaganda
to a room of politicians making ads,
asking salvation via memoranda.
Virgil explained, “Politicio this is.
Land of dysfunctional ‘servants’ of masses.
For those who, in life, were most surreptitious.
“Politicianhood is the only crime here,
For politics is of lies and treachery,
and this political crime is very severe.
“These souls are of the politicians dubbed ‘good,’
They may escape, if Jesus is in the mood
Till then, they send ads, so come sooner, he would.”
Then we trekked to the next of the sub-pouches.
Always filibustered, the slightly corrupt,
And there was no coffee, nor were there couches.
“These people were not the worst legislators,
yet they were more tainted than those we last saw,
so they are confined to this lifeless chamber.”
Virgil said “Onwards, there is still worse to see,
ahead of us here , are some still poorer souls.”
Then I saw foul varmints, right before me.
“Those are Gerrymanders, they are what they mean;
they are redrawn districts, to give skewed results,
the souls here must make them or they’ll eat their spleen.
“Elections are held here for who won’t get ate,
and to win, one must produce more of the beasts,
else they will meet a Gerrymanderish fate.”
Then we proceeded to the next horrid place.
I saw countless orators enclosed by crowds
A look of great fear was on each speaker’s face.
“Here yet worse statesmen must hold endless rallies,
but with bright people, not the usual sheep,
which makes it harder to win in the tallies.”
Then we moved on to another location.
There were some demons surrounding some people.
They had pointy sticks, and they caused devastation.
A man on a podium spoke thus to them:
“Article 5, Section 3 Limitations...”
and continued, after pausing to clear phlegm.
I looked at Virgil to see what he would say
“These sinners have a horrific punishment
only filibusters keep demons at bay.”
I said, “Why not just die, would it not bring relief?”
Virgil said, “No, that just restarts the cycle.”
I looked at him with horrified disbelief.
“But this is not the worst of punishments here.”
Said Virgil on noticing my expression.
I continued to stare at him, feeling fear.
We walked down a street of campaign offices.
Each building was adorned with advertisements.
Clearly the people there were not novices.
We came upon someone giving a speech there
“I’m not a crook” the orator guaranteed
then in an instant he was mauled by a bear!
“But these politicians still aren’t the worst yet,
and they must campaign so that they can survive,
and if they tell a lie, by bears’ claws it’s met.
“When their campaigns are done, the demons decide.
An election is held, for those who escape,
to the losers, the bears commit homicide.
“To make it all harder, there are Super-PACs,
with which they must ally in order to win,
and thus to survive past the next bear attacks.
“As if that’s not enough, there’s competition
in gaining the favor of the Super-PACs.
God’s hired Mitt Romney as their opposition!
“Their days in one piece, they surely are numbered,
unless they beat Romney to the Super-PACs.
And if they fail, a bear rips them asunder!”
At the thought of this fate, I trembled with fear,
as I have always had an odd fear of bears.
I faced Virgil and said, “Let’s get out of here.”
“There’s still more to see, still one bolgia that’s worse.”
Quoth the poet with a waver in his voice.
“One which I find is exceedingly adverse.”
We then journeyed on to a crowded chamber
and within it there were numerous horrors
fire, alligators and tornados there were.
Inside there were congressmen holding a vote,
“Those in favor of tornado removal.”
A few ‘Aye’s were voiced, causing demons to gloat.
“The motion has failed, tornados shall remain.”
Thus spoke the demon at front of the chamber.
“‘til we can strike a deal, you’ll still be in pain”
“Those in favor of installing angry bears-”
“I don’t like angry bears” I thought to myself.
“-and removing that crocodile, over there.”
We heard many ‘Aye’s from both sides of the aisle.
Then angry bears appeared, much to my dismay.
Then, mid- feast, disappeared the big crocodile.
“Here,” Virgil said “are the worst politicians.
Satan gives grief to repeal with bill-passing.
Fiendish proxies yield progress inhibitions.
“Two-thirds of the legislators are demons
to get a bill past they must make deals with them,
or they’ll face the same pains in later seasons.
“Still the worst part yet, that each person most hates:
Satan has power to veto each measure.
Their progress just equals, the United States’.”
At that point the demons noticed our presence,
and they passed a motion to chase us out.
The demons came after us on that pretense!
“Hark! Demons are coming, now let us make haste.
The time now has come, we must make our escape.”
And we once again tumbled, down a cliff face.