Edmund Clerihew Bentley (1875—1956) was a British journalist who became a detective-fiction writer; his best-known novel was Trent's Last Case. But Bentley was immortalized not by his novels, but by his humorous quatrains about a person or thing that he mentions in the first line. Bentley, according to G. K. Chesterton, could "write clear and unadulterated nonsense with . . . serious simplicity."
   Bentley wrote the first clerihew when he was sixteen years old: "Sir Humphrey Davy/ Abominated gravy./ He lived in the odium/ Of having discovered sodium." Possibly the most well-known clerihew is "Sir Christopher Wren/ Said 'I'm going to dine with some men./ If anybody calls/ Say I'm designing St. Paul's.' "
   Eventually Bentley published his clerihews as a book. It included: "George the Third/ Ought never to have occurred./ One can only wonder/ At so grotesque a blunder." And: "The art of Biography/ Is different from Geography./ Geography is about Maps, / But Biography is about chaps." Another: "It was a weakness of Voltaire's/ To forget to say his prayers, / And which, to his shame, /He never overcame."

Dictionary of eponyms. . 2013.

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  • clerihew — humorous verse form, 1928, from English humorist Edmund Clerihew Bentley (1875 1956), who described it in a book published 1906 under the name E. Clerihew …   Etymology dictionary

  • clerihew — n. a witty satiric verse containing two rhymed couplets and mentioning a famous person. [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • clerihew — [kler′ə hyo͞o΄] n. [after E. Clerihew Bentley (1875 1956), Eng author] a humorous, quasi biographical poem made up of two rhymed couplets with lines of varying length and meter …   English World dictionary

  • Clerihew — A clerihew is a whimsical, four line biographical poem invented by Edmund Clerihew Bentley. One of his best known is this (1905): Sir Christopher Wren Said, I am going to dine with some men. If anyone calls Say I am designing St. Paul s. [1]… …   Wikipedia

  • Clerihew — Ein Clerihew ist ein kurzer scherzhafter pseudobiographischer Vierzeiler, eine Gedichtform, die von Edmund Clerihew Bentley (1875–1956) erfunden wurde. Er besteht aus zwei Reimpaaren mit ungleichmäßiger Länge und mehr oder weniger freiem Rhythmus …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • clerihew — /kler euh hyooh /, n. Pros. a light verse form, usually consisting of two couplets, with lines of uneven length and irregular meter, the first line usually containing the name of a well known person. [1925 30; named after E. Clerihew Bentley… …   Universalium

  • Clerihew — Cle|ri|hew [ klɛrɪhju:], das; [s], s [engl. clerihew, nach dem ersten Verfasser E. Clerihew Bentley]: vierzeilige humoristische Gedichtform: Leser dichten s (Hörzu 25, 1973, 93) …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Clerihew — Cle|ri|hew [ klɛrihju:] das; [s], s <aus gleichbed. engl. clerihew, nach dem ersten Verfasser E. Clerihew Bentley> vierzeilige humoristische Gedichtform …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

  • clerihew — noun Etymology: Edmund Clerihew Bentley died 1956 English writer Date: 1928 a light verse quatrain rhyming aabb and usually dealing with a person named in the initial rhyme …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • clerihew — noun A rhyme of four lines, usually regarding a person mentioned in the first line. The clerihew, as you can see …   Wiktionary

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