POETRY CONTEST: Prepare Your Clerihews

EDITOR'S NOTE: The original version of this post stated that I would not be accepting submissions until Friday. I have changed my mind. I am accepting submissions as of right now. You may enter your clerihew(s) in the comments section of this post. I'll accept entries through midnight Sunday.

Over the last few days we have seen an interesting development in the comments section of this blog. Dan Kulp has introduced the lesser-known poetry subgenre known as the 'clerihew.' Here's the description of a clerihew from Wikipedia:

A clerihew is a whimsical, four-line biographical poem invented by Edmund Clerihew Bentley... 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 (for comic effect); the third and fourth lines are usually longer than the first two
  • The rhyme structure is AABB; the subject matter and wording are often humorously contrived in order to achieve a rhyme
  • The first line consists solely (or almost solely) of the subject's name.

An excellent example (also from Wikipedia):

Sir Christopher Wren
Went to dine with some men
He said, "If anyone calls,
Say I'm designing Saint Paul's."

Here are some more excellent examples.

This week's Audience Participation Friday will be concerned with clerihews. I'm telling you now so that you can start working on yours. Since President's Day was earlier this week, I considered making US Presidents the topic of our clerihews. But I didn't want to have to adjudicate any political disputes (so stop making your list of things that rhyme with Obama).

The topic, therefore, shall be colorful characters who have appeared in this blog over the last few months. In case you need to brush up, here are some possibilities:

This being a free country, you may also write a clerihew about anybody else, whether he or she has appeared on this blog or not. I have a feeling this is going to be good. You may, of course, enter more than one clerihew.

I'll send a signed copy of The Charlatan's Boy to the person who contributes the best clerihew.