Tuesday, January 2, 2007

The Clerihew

The Clerihew is a very specific kind of short humorous verse, somewhat like a limerick, typically with the following properties: it is biographical and usually whimsical, showing the subject from an unusual point of view; but it is hardly ever satirical, abusive or obscene; it has four lines of irregular length (for comic effect); the first line consists solely (or almost solely) of a well-known person's name. The rhyme scheme is usually aabb.
The form was invented by and is named after Edmund Clerihew Bentley who produced the following examples:

Sir James Dewar
Is better than you are.
None of you asses
Can liquefy gases!

Carl Gustav Jung
was very well hung,
a fact which annoyed
Sigmund Freud

No comments: