-----Original Message-----
From: Wordsmith [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Wednesday, April 09, 2003 9:17 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: A.Word.A.Day--clerihew

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
   the subject.

[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
  Abominated gravy.
  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
        Sir Walter."
   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:

This week's theme: words to describe poetic forms.

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