Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Clerihew Day

Thanks to Freakonomics Blog for pointing out that today July 10 is Clerihew Day, marking the birth date in 1875 of Edmund Clerihew Bentley, the British writer who invented a four-line rhyming verse, usually biographical in nature and resembling a limerick, that came to be known as a “clerihew.”

What has that got to do with economics? I dunno. What has it got to do with sailing either? If Joe can blog about Fish on Fridays and Carol Anne can write about cats then I can ramble on about clerihews.

Where was ? Where am I? Oh yes. Clerihews.

According to Word Daze...

The clerihew is a biographical form that begins with the subject's name (or at least contains the name in the first line). It is made up of two rhyming couplets (thus the rhyme scheme is AABB). The only other requirement of the form is that it should be light hearted or humorous.

Here are a couple of examples of Bentley's clerihews:

Sir Humphrey Davy
detested gravy
He lived in the Odium
Of having discovered Sodium.

Edward the Confessor
Slept under the dresser.
When that began to pall,
He slept in the hall.

So today's challenge is to write a clerihew about yourself. Publish it on your blog and email me about it and I will post a link. Or email the clerihew to me and I will post it here. Or just post it in the comments.

Here's my contribution...

Once had a plan
To blog about sailing,
Too bad that he's failing.


turinas said...

Your challenge is provocative
Your poem's evocative
My poem's a dog
Check out my blog

Tillerman said...

A bad 'un
A clerihew should be about someone (his rule not mine)
With the subject's name in the first line.

Adam said...

I was always crap at reading instructions

turinas said...

By the way, I am infinitely relieved you didn't use Turinas as your first line, for rhyming reasons that are obvious.

Did you a new one on the blog

Litoralis said...

isn't known for his lightness
he got a new sail
but to no avail

Litoralis said...

That apostrophe isn't meant to be there...it was left over from an earlier attempt.

Tillerman said...

Litoralis and lightness
Don't rhyme, your royal highness
AABB is the scheme
Anything else makes me scream

Tillerman said...

Adam Turinas
Rhymes with... ? umm Venus
Or maybe with highness
So cock, why the shyness?

Litoralis said...

does rhyme with lightness;
perhaps your pronunciation
is left over from your previous nation

The Rhyming Police said...

BTW, "confessor" and "dresser" don't rhyme either if you are being picky enough not to let the ending "-ess" rhyme with the ending "-is".

Tillerman said...

Anonymous, this dispute
Is a foolish pursuit
Mr Bentley wrote the example you gave
Go argue with him (if you can find his grave).

Litoralis said...

Mr. Bentley's example
is more than ample
that's why my previous commend submits
that my rhyme also fits

Litoralis said...

"commend" should be "comment", obviously

Tim said...

my name is Tim
and I'm not so thin
If I lost some weight
well that'd be great

Tillerman said...

Nice one Tin.

bonnie said...

Kayaker Bonnie
Loves her Romany
and is also quite true
to her charming TQ

I readily admit that attempting to rhyme "Bonnie" and "Romany" may be a bit of a stretch. But I'm late for something fun & that's the best I can do on the spur of the moment.

Tillerman said...

Thanks Bonnie. Much better rhyme than Litoralis and lightness. Thanks.

Carol Anne said...

For the rhyme to be effective, what must rhyme is the last ACCENTED syllable, plus any unaccented syllables that follow it. So "confessor" and "dresser" do rhyme, as do "Turinas" and "Venus", but "Litoralis" and "lightness" don't.

Carol Anne
Had a plan
To blog this and that
'Til caught by a cat

Joe "May The Force Be With You" Rouse said...

My name is the Horse
and I love the Force
If I got a Laser
I would be even crazier

Tim said...

I am also known as the Bishop of Snettisham Beach
because of my job where I love to teach
the beautiful ways of Christ divine
that one might reach the life beyond time

Litoralis said...

and Carol Anne
ruined my fun
were they afraid to be outdone?

By Carol Anne's rhyming theory
all my clerihews would be dreary;
latin names like Litoralis
don't even rhyme properly with aurora borealis

Tillerman said...

Thinks we're callous
For telling him the rhyming rule
That he should have learned in school

Litoralis said...

Litoralis and callous
Don't rhyme either, you sourpuss
You said AABB is the scheme
"-lis" only rhymes with "-lous" in your dreams

Tillerman said...

Lito my son
Don't jump the gun
I was just being funny
With post-modern irony.

If you didn't know by now
(Though I really don't see how)
On this blog everything
Has an opposite meaning

So, "Don't do as I say"
Is the word of the day
When Tillerman says, "Tack!"
Do a gybe, then gybe back

So I know my words don't rhyme
And you'll find out in time
When you point out a deliberate error
The joke rebounds on the bearer

So get back to your work
It's not good to shirk
Clerihews are only a fad
Leave rhyming couplets to Dad.

Litoralis said...

Litoralis apologizes.
He should have known who the wise one is,
but he's got a lawyer's bent;
he can't drop a good argument.

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