July 10 is National Clerihew Day in the United States. Today we celebrate a style of poetry, the Clerihew, created by Edmund Clerihew Bentley (July 10, 1875-March 30, 1956). A Clerihew is a short biographical poem that pokes fun at the subject of the poem, and that follows these rules. It must:
- Include four lines.
- Contain rhyming couplets of AA/BB.
- Include a person's name in the first line.
- Say something about that person.
- Be humorous. It is meant to be a funny poem, of course.
The National Day Calendar website suggests that to celebrate National Clerihew Day, you could learn more about Clerihews and also try writing a Clerihew of your own (and post it on social media using #NationalClerihewDay). Here's a pretty bad one I just wrote, about my dog, Henry Rollins, who often ignores me when I call him, and whose favorite foods are sweet potatoes and grilled salmon.
Sweet Henry Rollins
Doesn't come when I call hims
He's out back eating dishes
Of potatoes and fishes
I bet whatever Clerihew you write will be better than this one, so you should go try!