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Clerihew: A humorous verse consisting of two rhymed couplets in lines of irregular length, usually about a person whose name serves as one of the rhymes.
I get a kick out of these crazy ‘poems’. There’s a delicious sense that you have to be just a bit ‘in the know’ to get ’em. They’re funny because they spoof our own seriousness as poets as much as the celebrities we ‘honor’. You can find more in each issue of the Chesterton Society’s Gilbert magazine, where some of these of mine have appeared.
The novels of Amanda Ros
are not a total loss.
She wallowed in alliteration,
but entertained a literate nation.
Amanda was popular in the early 1900’s with people in whom there was more romance than literary sense. The Inklings used to have fun reading her work over dinner. When you crack up, you have to pass the book and let the next one read. She’s funny the way clerihews are funny… just enough taking yourself seriously to make the awfulness outrageous!
Here’s a sample sentence from Amanda’s Irene Iddelsleigh, with which our dining table has been entertained for many delightful hours:
This was only the beginning of what must follow; and where did the blame attachable rest? But on the shoulders of her who had edged the road of unreasonable revenge, and stripped herself of the covering of coveted cost to array herself in linen of loose lore and lengthy wear, and die, it may be, on the wayside of want.
I intend Buddha no disrespect by the following clerihew:
shoulda woulda coulda
but he was only a beginner.
And, because those we love most deserve our best efforts:
Geniuses know Dorothy Sayers
had a mind as sharp as theirs.
Modus ops of wide variety,
God and Dante and even ad copy.
Just reading Dorothy’s translation of the Divine Comedy now…she gave the last 14 years to the task of giving me this gift…WOW!