And the Dalai Lama
0ne lives near Siam
The other abandoned Afghanistan
Another poetic format I just learned about as I read reviews by those in the National Poetry Month challenge, which requires a posting daily during the month of April in the required format. I’ll describe it below, but I’m not surprised that the form was invented by a 16 year old who was passing satyrical comments to his classmates.
This poem is a Clerihew.
A Clerihew is a whimsical, four-line biographical poem invented by Edmund Clerihew Bentley. The first line is the name of the poem’s subject, usually a famous person put in an absurd light. The rhyme scheme is AABB, and the rhymes are often forced. The line length and meter are irregular. Bentley invented the c
Clerihew in school and then popularized it in books.
A Clerihew has the following properties:
It is biographical and usually whimsical, showing the subject from an unusual point of view; it mostly pokes fun at 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, including the use of phrases in Latin, French and other non-English languages.
-The first line contains, and may consist solely of, the subject’s name. According to a letter in the Spectator in the 1960s, Bentley said that a true Clerihew has to have the name “at the end of the first line”, as the whole point was the skill in rhyming awkward names.
I captured these two images from Yahoo Images, then combined them here.