Sunday, July 10, 2011

Clerihew Day

When Edmund Clerihew Bentley (born this date in 1875) was 16 and attending school in London, the first 'clerihew' came into his head during a science class. Together with his school friends, he soon after filled a notebook with these whimsical 4-line poems. In 1905, he wrote his best known clerihew:

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

1. Clerihews are four lines long.
2. The first and second lines rhyme with each other, and the third and fourth lines rhyme with each other.
3. The first line names a person, and the second line ends with something that rhymes with the name of the person.
4. Put the person's name at the end of the first line, rhyme it at the end of the second line.
5. Then write two more rhyming lines that make it funny.
6. No need for regular length or metre.

Clerihews are simple, easy to write, can be about a person or character, real or imaginary. They can be about animals, cartoon characters, or anyone else you can think of. It's great fun to do with kids and a great way to encourage them to enjoy writing.

Let me introduce my very first clerihew.....

I see old Mr. Lynch
now owns a goldfinch.
Crazy old bird
never says a word!

How's that?