A clerihew is a whimsical, four-line biographical poem invented by Edmund Clerihew Bentley.Greg Ross at Futility Closet has some good examples. He doesn't permit comments overe there, so I will post my own favourite here:
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.
Cecil B. De Mille
Much against his will
Was persuaded to keep Moses
Out of the Wars of the Roses.