NATIONAL CLERIHEW DAY
July 10 of each year celebrates National Clerihew Day in the United States. Invented by Edmund Clerihew Bently, a clerihew is a whimsical, four-line biographical poem.
In the year 1905, Bently wrote one of his best known which is:
Sir Christopher Wren
Said, “I am going to dine with some men
If anyone calls
Say I am desigining St. Paul’s.
“A clerihew has the following properties:
- It is biographical and usually whimsical, showing the subject from an unusual point of view; it pokes fun at mostly famous people
- It has four lines of irregular length and metre (for comic effect)
- The rhyme structure is AABB; the subject matter and wording are
often humorously contrived in order to achieve a rhyme, including the
use of phrases in Latin, French and other non-English languages
- The first line contains, and may consist solely of, the subject’s name.”
English novelist and humorist, Edmund Clerihew Bently (July 10, 1875 – March 30, 1956), was a 16 year old student when he thought up the lines for his first ever clerihew.
Sir Humphry Davy
He lived in the odium
Of having discovered sodium.
On National Clerihew Day, try writing a clerihew or two of your own!
Do you remember ever having to write a Clerihew poem?