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Hello poets, this is Gayle from Bodhirose’s Blog and welcome to Form-For-All/Meeting the Bar.

Today we’re going to play with humor and couplets and the form I’m presenting is called a Clerihew. A Clerihew is a comic verse on biographical topics consisting of two couplets and a specific rhyming scheme of aabb that was invented by Edmund Clerihew Bentley (1875-1956) at the age of 16.


    E. C. Bentley was a well known English novelist and humorist.   He was a journalist and worked for several newspapers and published his first book of poetry in 1905 titled “Biography for Beginners” which popularized the clerihew. His detective story “Trent’s Last Case” was considered the first true modern mystery. It was adapted to film several times.  He went on to write a sequel to that book called “Trent’s Own Case” and also authored a book of Trent short stories.

The poem deals with a person or character on the first line.  In most cases, the first line names a celebrity or well-known person and the second line rhymes with the name of the person.

Photo:  Edmund Clerihew Bentley; Bing Images

Here are two of the more popular Clerihew that Bentley wrote as examples:

Sir Humphrey Davy
Abominated gravy.
He lived in the odium
Of having discovered sodium.

Sir Christopher Wren
Said, “I am going to dine with some men.
If anyone calls
Say I am designing St. Paul’s.”

George Carlin was one of my favorite comics. He was so clever and his material was very thought provoking.  Here is a short (a little over a minute long) video of Mr. Carlin reciting his poem on hair:

My Clerihew on George Carlin:

George Carlin
never caught a marlin
but he lost lots of stuff
and could think off the cuff

I liked the below quote by Mark Twain and wrote a Clerihew referencing his many pen names and the fact that he was born one day after a visit by Halley’s Comet on November 30, 1835. He predicted that he would “go out with the comet” upon his death, and he ended up dying on April 21, 1910 the day after the comet made a return visit.

Halley's Comet; Photo by NASA

Photo of Halley’s Comet; NASA file


Mark Twain;  Bing Photos

Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter. Mark Twain Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/m/mark_twain.html

Mark Twain
was a man of many names
a quick wit and humorous posit
who left this world riding out on Halley’s Comet

I hope you enjoy playing with the prompt!

To join in with our prompt today follow the easy steps below:

  • Write a poem (or poems) in your blog.
  • Enter a link directly to your poem and your name by clicking Mr Linky below
  • There you will find links to other poets, and more will join during the next 48 hours
  • Read and comment on other poet’s work, we all go here to have our poems read
  • Please link back to dVerse from your site/blog.
  • Comment and participate in our discussion below, if you like.   We are a friendly bunch of poets.
  • Have fun!