Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Edgar-Allen-Poe.jpgWrite 2 rhyming couplets that poke gentle fun at a well known person or character and you've got a clerihew. They're like mini-biographies.

There are a few rules for clerihews:
  1. The first line has the person's name in it.
  2. They're 4 lines long.
  3. Lines 1&2 rhyme and lines 3&4 rhyme.
  4. It should be gently funny.
Pick one or a few (or come up with your own, of course):
  • Harry Potter
  • Hermione Granger
  • Obi Wan Kenobi
  • Vlad the Impaler
  • Cinderella
  • Captain Kirk
  • Veronica Mars
  • Buffy Sommers
They're short. They're funny. They should be more popular! I tried to find some clerihew examples of contemporary people or characters but there just wasn't that much :-/ But here's some about some people and characters you may recognize.
Edgar Allen Poe
Was very fond of roe.
He always liked to chew some,
When writing anything gruesome.

-- by E. C. Bentley, the inventor of the clerihew

And one about Bentley himself:

Not only did Bentley
Create Philip Trent, he
Invented the norm
Of this poetic form.

Carrie, by Stephen King

Was really scary
Even the part after they bury her
But her mother was even scarier

-- by William Sanders

Alexander Graham Bell
has shuffled off this mobile cell.
He’s not talking any more
But he has a lot to answer for.

From Random Mystery Poem:

Agatha Christie
Wrote plot lines so twisty,
Whodunit we'd never know
If it weren't for the little grey cells of Poirot.

Sue Grafton
Knows her craft, and
She gets better
With each letter.

Rex Stout
Evens things out.
Nero Wolfe has more brains, to match his seventh of a ton,
But Archie has more fun.
There's a good walkthrough on creating clerihews at Gigglepoetry.
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