From: Wordsmith [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Wednesday, April 09, 2003 9:17 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
clerihew (KLER-uh-hyoo) noun
A humorous, pseudo-biographical verse of four lines of uneven length,
with the rhyming scheme AABB, and the first line containing the name of
[After writer Edmund Clerihew Bentley (1875-1956), who originated it.]
Here is one of the first clerihews he wrote (apparently while feeling bored
in a science class):
Sir Humphrey Davy
He lived in the odium
Of having discovered sodium.
"Walter Bagehot, our most famous editor (from 1859 to 1877), advocated
`animated moderation' in writing. And Sir Walter Layton, Crowther's
immediate predecessor, spent hours rewriting his staff's articles--so
hours that one of his frustrated colleagues hit back with a clerihew:
Sir Walter Layton
Has a passion for alteration
Would to God someone could alter
M. Stevenson; Your Chance to Out-write `The Economist';
The Economist (London, UK); Dec 22, 1990.
"Settled in his living room with Italian liqueurs, I notice poet Henry
Taylor's latest book, Brief Candles, a collection of clerihews:
`Hart Crane/ plunged into the bounding main./ His situation could not
have been graver:/ His father invented the candy lifesaver.'"
Michael Dirda; Excursions; The Washington Post; Jul 2, 2000.
More clerihews: http://www.smart.net/~tak/clerihew.html
This week's theme: words to describe poetic forms.
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