Day 24: The Clerihew


(image found on the Facebook page of The Plot Whisperer, Martha Alderson)

The clerihew was, as I recall, favored by my mentor, Nelson Bentley, perhaps because the full name of its progenitor was Edmund Clerihew Bentley. It is a four line poem with rhyming couplets, biographical at least in that it begins with someone’s name. The four lines are rhymed AA BB (two couplets) and are of varying lengths and meter (for comic effect). It can contain addition rhymed couplets. This example is said to be Edmund’s first attempt at the form:

Sir Humphrey Davy
Abominated gravy.
He lived in the odium
Of having discovered Sodium.

I resisted this assignment so mightily that I decided there must be a gift for me in doing it. Then, researching this topic, I discovered that July 10 (the birthday of my two older daughters) is National Clerihew Day.

So, a few rhymes from moi:

Alas, said Bethany Reid
I’ve written a terrible screed.
I hoped Poetry Month would make me profound–
Instead it makes my head pound.
I could just refuse,
but now the ink’s–used. 
Consider this my apologia
For my April logorrhoea. 


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