Bad poetry time: Clerihews

Just when you thought I had run through all the bad poetry I can spew (see here for my palindromic poems) here is another set of poems I had all but forgotten about. A few years ago I got hooked into writing Clerihews. For the uninitiated:

The clerihew is a bit of rhyming doggerel invented by Edmund Clerihew Bentley (1875-1956). Traditionally, it’s a four-line verse made up of two rhyming couplets, with meter intentionally (often ridiculously) irregular. Its purpose is to offer a satiric or absurd biography of a famous person. [from Wordgames in the Atlantic Monthly by Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon].

I have written a couple of dozen clerihews that were hosted on the older version of my website – but got lost in the shuffle somewhere. Here are a couple of my favorites (of course you can read them all by going here and here).

Here’s one is about my son who, when he first started speaking, would startle us all by yelling “Ka” every time he saw a car:

Soham Mishra
Shouted out, “KA!”
Shocking the local constabulary
With his limited vocabulary.

The next two are about two famous persons, Darwin and Mendeleev:

Charles Darwin
Pondered the nature of original sin
His theory which many regarded as being clunky
Said man evolved from the monkey

Dimitry Mendeleev
While leaving Kiev
Sent an urgent wireless cable
“Tell them I’ve discovered the Periodic Table”

Finally a couple about my colleagues, Yong Zhao & Matt Koehler.

Yong Zhao
Said Wow!
Don’t you think it is funny
How they just keep sending me all this grant money

Matthew J. Koehler
Wanted to be a sailor
But now spends his time making faces
While discussing video cases.

You can read them all by going here and here. Enjoy.

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