The clerihew is a four-line poem of two rhyming couplets and was invented by the writer and humorist Edmund Clerihew Bentley.

Clerihews usually deal wittily with some aspect of the life or career of a well-known person, whose name forms the first line.

George the Third
Ought never to have occurred.
One can only wonder
At so grotesque a blunder.



It is said that Bentley invented the form when he became bored during a school chemistry lesson. Clerihews have often been composed by children, as in this example about a history teacher:

Dickie Dare
Drove boys to despair
With his crates and crates
Of boring dates.

The form is very simple and easy to use, and can be applied to people from all walks of life:

Gordon Brown
Must be feeling very down
And deep in dejection
After losing the election

Lady Gaga –
What a saga!
You never know where
She'll pin up her hair.

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