Meet the Clerihew
The Clerihew is a funny little form invented by English humorist, poet, and novelist Edmund Clerihew Bentley. These bite-sized biographies are meant to entertain as much as inform the reader.
Form: Consists of a single four-line (quatrain) stanza following an AABB rhyme scheme.
Content: Biographical and humorous in tone. The first line states the subject’s name, the following three lines state something surprising or funny about the subject.
A Clerihew by E. C. Bentley
George the Third
Ought never to have occurred.
One can only wonder
At so grotesque a blunder.
Another Clerihew by Unknown
With the thought
“Therefore I’m not”?
Four Original Clerihews
Edmund C. Bentley
Penned poems aplenty.
He wrote some good mysteries, too,
But he’s best known for his clerihew.
Johann Sebastian Bach
Really knew how to rock.
His compositions were so clever
They changed music forever.
Senator Bernie Sanders
Speaks with honesty and candor.
And he’s likely our best hope
To dump the orange dope.
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes
Is an athlete down to his chromosomes.
Still he’s nice enough to permit
His teammates to call him Kermit.
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