Monday, July 29, 2013

Monday Poetry Stretch - Clerihew

clerihew is a short verse that is biographical and humorous. Here are the rules for writing a clerihew.
  • The poem must be four lines long.
  • The rhyme scheme must be a/a/b/b.
  • The first line should consist of the name of a person.
  • The poem should be biographical and humorous. Often times clerihews poke fun at famous people.
You can learn more about clerihews at Poetry for Kids and Wikipedia. You can get some advice on writing clerihews at Giggle Poetry

Here’s one by Paul Janeczko:
Harry Potter
Was a magical plotter
At Hogwarts he became a master
After many a goof and disaster.
So, what kind of clerihew will you write? Will your subject be literary or political? Please share a link to your poem or the poem itself in the comments. Have fun with this one!


  1. A Convention of Clerihews

    Barak Obama
    Had quite a good Mama.
    His Dad, so it’s feared,
    Well, he disappeared.

    Oh that Johnny Depp
    Has plenty of pep,
    Has oomph, zip, and zest.
    Does pirates the best.

    The hunky Sean Bean
    Can often be seen
    Sword in his hand,
    Making a stand.

    Emily Dickinson
    ©ems are quickly done.
    Visitors cause her flight.
    All of her dresses—white.

    Prez Teddy Roosevelt
    Tightened his mammoth belt.
    Rode rough to war
    With his volunteer corps.

    ©2013 Jane Yolen all rights reserved

  2. Jane, I especially like the Johnny Depp one!

    Edgar Allan Poe
    Was enchanted by woe.
    Wrote of horror and rot,
    and drank quite a lot.

    Dame Agatha Christie
    Could write a good mystery.
    She really should have died
    From an ax or cyanide.

    The new baby prince
    Gave a squall and a wince.
    With all of that fame
    Why not a cool name?

    —Kate Coombs, 2013
    all rights reserved

  3. Kate I so agree with the last one of yours. The one before that is clever too. Jane, I love it when you participate in these. Feels like I'm doing a writing session alongside the prom queeen.


    James Earl Jones'
    Thunderous tones
    Scared to the core
    A dinosaur.


    Babe Ruth
    Told the truth
    Never fear
    Hot dogs and beer.


    I decree
    That Ms. Winfrey
    Is a chocolate honey
    With lots of money.


    Tom Hanks
    Highly ranks
    As a fatherly lion
    Ask Private Ryan.

    (C) Charles Waters 2013 all rights reserved.

  4. Lots of fun! Here are a couple from me:

    Glory! Gory Edward Gorey
    Told a most alarming story.
    He ordered horrors alphabetical.
    Thank the Lord, it's hypothetical!


    If I were only Stephen King
    Then I could publish anything.
    Rub two sticks, and dub it fiction.
    Fires start from too much friction.

    —Steven Withrow, 2013
    all rights reserved