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 Clerihew Who?

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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Clerihew Who?    Wed 09 Apr 2014, 11:27

As for the outrageous Caligula
Regina dramatica maxima
He honoured his horse
A real tour de force!
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PostSubject: Re: Clerihew Who?    Wed 09 Apr 2014, 11:31

Pablo Picasso
Was an artist of class so
What would he have thought o'
An eponymous auto?
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PostSubject: Re: Clerihew Who?    Wed 09 Apr 2014, 11:33

For his back-ache John F Kennedy
Was in permanent search of a remedy
Saying, "This pain that confines me to bed
I need like a hole in the head!"
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PostSubject: Re: Clerihew Who?    Wed 09 Apr 2014, 12:28

Of Prime Ministers Percival, Spencer
Though not great wasn't one of the denser
So it's a pity he's now only rated
For being assassinated
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PostSubject: Re: Clerihew Who?    Wed 09 Apr 2014, 13:31

Then there was Presley
Who loved his hamburgers immensely
And one morning as he sat
Died where he shat.
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PostSubject: Re: Clerihew Who?    Wed 09 Apr 2014, 15:43

Ayatollah Khomeini
Did not like a girl to be
Too wild or too opinionated
And definitely never too X-rated.
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PostSubject: Re: Clerihew Who?    Wed 09 Apr 2014, 17:13

Of His Holiness John Paul the Second
It has often been mischievously reckoned
That because of all those he made "saint"
There are more of them now than there ain't
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PostSubject: Re: Clerihew Who?    Wed 09 Apr 2014, 21:05

Sir Isaac Newton
Wouldn't brook a dispute on
An apple's pure suavity
When obeying his law of gravity
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PostSubject: Re: Clerihew Who?    Thu 10 Apr 2014, 08:09

Deleted.

One shouldn't really try to make Joseph Stalin humorous.


Last edited by Temperance on Thu 10 Apr 2014, 15:53; edited 4 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Clerihew Who?    Thu 10 Apr 2014, 09:14

Maria Millar
To the naughty pillar!!
As she has no defences
For her over-claimed expenses
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PostSubject: Re: Clerihew Who?    Thu 10 Apr 2014, 09:48

Anthony Wedgwood Benn
Was not like other men
He gave up being nobility
For the sake of his credibility
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PostSubject: Re: Clerihew Who?    Thu 10 Apr 2014, 11:25

Young master Lambert Simnel
Won't ever feature in a hymnal
But his loss to the world of king-making
Proved a boon at least to pie-baking
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PostSubject: Re: Clerihew Who?    Thu 10 Apr 2014, 12:46

In Knossos Sir Arthur Evans
Looked round and muttered "Good Heavens
The Minoans built with the best of intent
But it'll be much improved by a ton of cement".
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PostSubject: Re: Clerihew Who?    Thu 10 Apr 2014, 12:55

Jeanne d’Arc la pucelle d’Orléans
A dit, "c’est trop longue une guerre de cent ans.
Je dois prendre l’épée, défendre mon pays
Et vaincre les méchants Anglais."
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PostSubject: Re: Clerihew Who?    Thu 10 Apr 2014, 13:11

That's impressive Meles, one in French.

Edmund Bentley
Penned comic verse gently
Of famous folk whom he knew
Would suit his eponymous Clerihew
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PostSubject: Re: Clerihew Who?    Thu 10 Apr 2014, 13:12

@Meles meles wrote:
Jeanne d’Arc la pucelle d’Orléans
A dit, "c’est trop longue une guerre de cent ans.
Je dois prendre l’épée, défendre mon pays
Et vaincre les méchants Anglais."


Show-off.

 Smile 

PS I liked yours too, Trike!
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PostSubject: Re: Clerihew Who?    Thu 10 Apr 2014, 13:39

It's actually a very good way to improve my French ... I often do it with songs: One verse of, say, "The sun has got his hat on" and then I try and do it in French. The translation bit isn't hard but trying to maintain the rhymes and metre is the tricky bit:

"Le soleil a son chapeau, hip hip hip hooree
Le soleil a son chapeau, il arrive aujourd'hui.
On peut être content, hip hip hip hooray
Le soleil a son chapeau, et il viens pour jouer."

But the dog hates it when I sing, he rolls his eyes and looks at me with the sort of withering contempt that I imagine a teenager would look at their father when he tries to do a Madonna number.
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PostSubject: Re: Clerihew Who?    Thu 10 Apr 2014, 13:56

@Meles meles wrote:


But the dog hates it when I sing, he rolls his eyes and looks at me with the sort of withering contempt that I imagine a teenager would look at their father when he tries to do a Madonna number.


I'm sure you're imagining it, MM.  Smile 

OK, three gold stars for the first chap to come up with one in Latin. (I was going to say, or in Greek, but ID could cheat and we'd none of us be any the wiser.)
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PostSubject: Re: Clerihew Who?    Thu 10 Apr 2014, 14:02

Nah Temp, as Greek is a very easy language to rhyme it would be no challenge at all.

Edit. I mean no challenge to do a clerihew, not the cheating bit. Not that I ever would, of course.  Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Clerihew Who?    Thu 10 Apr 2014, 14:18

I am sure the humour as specified in the rules hinges on the use of "phrases" in "the subject matter and wording are often humorously contrived in order to achieve a rhyme, including the use of phrases in Latin, French and other non-English languages".

Mind you, I suppose if you stick a lot of such phrases together you end up with a foreign language Clerihew right enough. But I can't help thinking ...

The original Clerihew
Thought he would be merry who
Using several brogues
Might lampoon his rogues

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PostSubject: Re: Clerihew Who?    Thu 10 Apr 2014, 14:40

Deleted - not a proper one.



Last edited by Temperance on Thu 10 Apr 2014, 20:57; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Clerihew Who?    Thu 10 Apr 2014, 14:47

Julius Caesar ingressus in navem,
Vincere exertus in Britanniam.
Quia "veni, vidi, vici, sed ego sum frigus.
Est etiam pluvia, ubi siccitas pergimus."
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PostSubject: Re: Clerihew Who?    Thu 10 Apr 2014, 14:52

Very nicely done indeed, MM!

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PostSubject: Re: Clerihew Who?    Thu 10 Apr 2014, 15:51

Galileo
Had to lay low
'Cos he said the System Tychonic
Was daft, and bugged him something chronic.
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PostSubject: Re: Clerihew Who?    Thu 10 Apr 2014, 16:27

The seventh Pope Urban
Must have been on the bourbon
When he said "The silly things you say, oh!"
And sentenced Galileo
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PostSubject: Re: Clerihew Who?    Thu 10 Apr 2014, 17:25

This one won't do;
It's not a proper Clerihew.
Have deleted it with some sorrow
Will have another go tomorrow.



Last edited by Temperance on Thu 10 Apr 2014, 20:56; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Clerihew Who?    Thu 10 Apr 2014, 17:51

Poor old Aeschylus
Epitomised kakόtychos
When hit by a testudinidae
From which he died, didn't he?
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PostSubject: Re: Clerihew Who?    Thu 10 Apr 2014, 17:53

Ah, Gawd, another show-off.

 (Only jealous - very good, nordmann.)
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PostSubject: Re: Clerihew Who?    Thu 10 Apr 2014, 18:33

"I will fly to the sky" said Icarus
The crowd said "Don't be ridiculous
Do you think we're really that credulous?".
"And don't land on me" said Daedalus.
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PostSubject: Re: Clerihew Who?    Thu 10 Apr 2014, 19:15

Samuel Johnson that great man of letters,
Had pronunciation that appalled his betters.
"I admit my diction's hairy,
But at least I wrote a good dictionary".
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PostSubject: Re: Clerihew Who?    Thu 10 Apr 2014, 19:50

Oh you cheat!

"Bentley said that a true clerihew has to have the name "at the end of the first line", as the whole point was the skill in rhyming awkward names."

You've invented a Melehew!
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PostSubject: Re: Clerihew Who?    Thu 10 Apr 2014, 20:04

The orator Cato,
Asked could the tomato
Be proterozoic,
Replied "No". How Stoic!
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PostSubject: Re: Clerihew Who?    Thu 10 Apr 2014, 21:14

@nordmann wrote:
Oh you cheat!

"Bentley said that a true clerihew has to have the name "at the end of the first line", as the whole point was the skill in rhyming awkward names."

You've invented a Melehew!


Then I'm afraid I've done quite a few other Melihews too  Embarassed 
But if you insist:

That great man of letters Samuel Johnson
Sold his dictionary at four pounds ten - a bon sum.
But he never made it amongst the poets,
Because it's thought he suffered from Tourette's.
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PostSubject: Re: Clerihew Who?    Thu 10 Apr 2014, 22:21

Ieyasu Tokugawa 
Charged his master by the hour
When Mikado's coffers were run and done
He settled for hereditary Shogun
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PostSubject: Re: Clerihew Who?    Thu 10 Apr 2014, 23:02

With regard to the late William Gladstone
There's a fact one just cannot bemoan
Each night after work in the lobby
Saving women who fell was his hobby
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PostSubject: Re: Clerihew Who?    Thu 10 Apr 2014, 23:17

President Abraham Lincoln
Was famously not one for drinkin'
Saying "My ultimate pleasure in life
Is to go to a play with my wife!"
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PostSubject: Re: Clerihew Who?    Fri 11 Apr 2014, 07:20

Dominic Mancini
Was a right old meanie;
He told fibs about our Rich
Lying, spying, Italian snitch.


Last edited by Temperance on Fri 11 Apr 2014, 07:43; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Clerihew Who?    Fri 11 Apr 2014, 07:42

@Meles meles wrote:

Then I'm afraid I've done quite a few other Melihews too  Embarassed 
But if you insist:


I liked your Melehews, Melehews melehews.  But mark how ingrained are our habits of obedience to authority: you immediately put an embarrassed emoticon and rewrite your offering, and I promptly delete all my offending non-Clerihewic rhymes. Oh, poo. Here is the fifth rule of poetry composition:


5. EXPERIMENT. Is there a poetic “rule” you just don’t like? Try breaking it. Then, look for other rules to bend. Often, the poets who are remembered and quoted are the ones who learned to do something well and then took it in a new direction.


But it undoubtedly is a good idea to check your spelling for embarrassing mistakes ( Embarassed me, not you).

But I digress and so risk possible (w)rapped knuckles. Back to toiling over our Clerihews.


Last edited by Temperance on Fri 11 Apr 2014, 09:17; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : removed a comma.)
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PostSubject: Re: Clerihew Who?    Fri 11 Apr 2014, 08:30

Often, the poets who are remembered and quoted are the ones who learned to do something well and then took it in a new direction.

True, but not a lofty aspiration Bentley would have approved of, I think (hence lending his middle name to the exercise and not the one he actually used), though when clerihews work they can indeed be very memorable in their own right. Think of the clerihew as a very English variation of the haiku - equally strict with the compositional rules (if relaxed about scansion, as long as it's disrupted for comic effect of course) but unlike the Japanese thingy designed principally to amuse and inform, not elevate the soul.

Actually come to think of it, that's exactly what amusing and informative clerihews achieve when they work, so scrub that last bit - think of them as English haikus!

Songwriter John Lennon
Who frequently when on
Substances pharmaceutical
Churned out stuff quite musical
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PostSubject: Re: Clerihew Who?    Fri 11 Apr 2014, 09:22

I'm working on a cracker about Ignatius Loyola.

Ola - Lovely Lola - told ya - hold ya -  

Just give me time.


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PostSubject: Re: Clerihew Who?    Fri 11 Apr 2014, 11:16

Of Gregori Rasputin
There is no disputin'
Though of misplaced certitude
He'd a "Never Say Die!" attitude
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PostSubject: Re: Clerihew Who?    Fri 11 Apr 2014, 11:25

That Inigo Lopez de Loyola
Said, "Don't you lot forget what I've told ya;
Perinde ac cadaver is my spiritual way,
So shut up moaning and simply OBEY!"


"I do further promise and declare, that I will have no opinion or will of my own, or any mental reservation whatever, even as a corpse or cadaver (perinde ac cadaver), but will unhesitatingly obey each and every command that I may receive from my superiors in the Militia of the Pope and of Jesus Christ."

 Shocked
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PostSubject: Re: Clerihew Who?    Fri 11 Apr 2014, 11:57

There was a man called Geoffrey Hurst
Whose "phantom goal" the Germans cursed
But would his inclusion in Teutonic demonology
Been wholly avoided with modern goal-line technology?
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PostSubject: Re: Clerihew Who?    Fri 11 Apr 2014, 12:32

Joint rulers Ferdinand and Isabella
Found Torquemada a decent sort of fella;
Their autos-da-fe became quite legendary -
Shows more popular even than Glastonbury!
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PostSubject: Re: Clerihew Who?    Fri 11 Apr 2014, 12:49

Their lad, young Chris Columbus
Caused the locals a bit of a rumpus
When he landed on Plana Cayas
And asked them where Mumbai is
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PostSubject: Re: Clerihew Who?    Fri 11 Apr 2014, 13:09

OK - I've got El Draco and wacko, but I can't for life of me make Grande y Felicisima Armada and Duke of Medina Sidonia scan -  so I'm going in my garden.

Perhaps MM will come up with a suitable Melehew.  Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Clerihew Who?    Fri 11 Apr 2014, 13:13

A pirate called Edward Teach
Had a beard that was black as bleach
And if this sounds out of place
Try saying that to his face!
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PostSubject: Re: Clerihew Who?    Fri 11 Apr 2014, 14:17

Nordmann's right they are like doing Haikus because of the need to keep it succinct and minimalist. Today I'm struggling:

Lord Baden-Powell
Liked to rough towel
With the chaps in the Mafeking redoubts.
So he promptly founded the scouts.

Which had to be boiled down from:

Lord Baden-Powell
Liked to rough towel
With the chaps in the Mafeking redoubts.
Ladysmith was relieved,
But then on home leave,
He promptly formed the boys scouts.

Which scans much better but is another melehew and not a clerihew. I'm off to do some ironing and while I'm standing there pressing the sheets something might come to mind.
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PostSubject: Re: Clerihew Who?    Fri 11 Apr 2014, 14:24

Succinct, yes, but thankfully not necessarily very worthy or deep analyses of the subject's biographical details. They need only a passing reference to one such detail to fit the Bentley rules.

The exciteable John the Baptist
Was high on King Herod's blacklist
Whose daughter, it's often now said,
Caused Johnny to quite lose his head


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PostSubject: Re: Clerihew Who?    Fri 11 Apr 2014, 14:35

Very good.

Yes in just three lines - since as you pointed out one can't sneak anything much into the first line other than the name - it's hard to develop much plot and detailed history.
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PostSubject: Re: Clerihew Who?    Fri 11 Apr 2014, 15:39

@Temperance wrote:
OK - I've got El Draco and wacko, but I can't for life of me make Grande y Felicisima Armada and Duke of Medina Sidonia scan -  so I'm going in my garden.

Et voila! ... Well when doing 2 hours of ironing there's not much else with which to occupy the brain, though they're not particularly good:


The Duke of Medina Sidonia
Really could not have been lonlier.
"I'm a soldier not a sailor so I'd really much rather,
Not be at sea, and in command of the Spanish Armada".

Meanwhile,

Lord Howard of Effingham
Was rather partial to quaffing ham.
But he refused to eat jambon
Lest it came from Palma, the Don.
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