Week Twenty-Eight: The Clerihew

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.

Key Features

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

Did Descartes
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.


Want to Learn More? Start Here:

Clerihew – Wikipedia
What is a Clerihew? – Verse.org


Come back every Friday for a new form!

~ Creative works are owned by the author and subject to copyright laws ~

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