If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Sunday, 10 April 2011


From Wikipedia:
A clerihew is a whimsical, four-line biographical poem invented by Edmund Clerihew Bentley.

A clerihew has the following properties:

  • It is biographical and usually whimsical, showing the subject from an unusual point of view; it pokes fun at mostly famous people

  • It has four lines of irregular length and metre (for comic effect)

  • The rhyme structure is AABB; the subject matter and wording are often humorously contrived in order to achieve a rhyme

  • The first line contains, and may consist solely of, the subject's name.
  • Greg Ross at Futility Closet has some good examples. He doesn't permit comments overe there, so I will post my own favourite here:

    Cecil B. De Mille
    Much against his will
    Was persuaded to keep Moses
    Out of the Wars of the Roses.


      1. King William of Orange
        Rhymes only with door hinge
        Since possible couplets are very few
        Isn't he a good subject for a clerihew?

      2. Your own work? *impressed*

        There is a hill in South Wales named Blorenge (pronounced as written) which may come to your assistance in moments of difficulty.

        He's a bit of a sly 'un.
        He keeps his best quips
        And serves them with gallimaufry and chips.

      3. I cribbed orange/door hinge off Leonard Cohen but that's homage. All the rest is my own work as they used to say at infants school.
        I'm very honoured by your composition. Glad my surmame isn't Hunt or the end of the second line would rhyme with Elliot Morley.
        Back to working on my Deep Purple and Long John Silver clerihews.

      4. Just think, they can put a man on the Moon, but we can't even find a rhyme for 'purple' or 'silver'. And they call it progress.


      Comment is free, according to C P Scott, so go for it. Word verification is turned off for the time being. Play nicely.

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