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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 Clerihew are:

  1. satirical poetry, an epigram.
  2. often metered, written in iambic dimeter, but can be expanded using the rhythm of normal speech.
  3. a single quatrain.
  4. a mocking epigram of someone (usually famous or in authority) The first line is the title and the name of a person whom the epigram will mock.
  5. the second line rhymes with the name of the subject.
  6. rhymed, rhyme scheme aabb.
    Sir Humphrey Davy
    Detested gravy
    He lived in the odium
    Of having discovered sodium.
            --- E Clerihew Bentley
    The King of Pop, his name is Michael,
    nose, chin and skin, he chose to recycle.
    Genius with drive from the Jackson Five,
    he's a Thriller, dancing on toes and singing jive.
                                      ~ ~ Judi Van Gorder
    Royal, Kate Middleton
    Stripped to catch some sun.
    Neglectful, she forgot to hide
    As her crown assets slipped outside                                
                               - - - Frank Gibbard

~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

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