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Explore the Craft of Writing Light Verse Clerihew is a type of epigram named for and invented by Edmund Clerihew Bentley (1875-1956) when he was a schoolboy; the very first Clerihew was written in science class when apparently his mind was wandering from the subject. The form quickly gained popularity among his fellow students but has later been utilized and published by such recognized poets W. H. Auden. The Clerihew mocks the famous and those in authority through a humorous perspective. It is often deliberately clumsy and could be put in the burlesque genre. The elements of the Cle