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NATIONAL CLERIHEW DAY – July 10

NATIONAL CLERIHEW DAY – July 10

NATIONAL CLERIHEW DAY

July 10th of each year celebrates National Clerihew Day in the United States.  Edmund Clerihew Bentley created the whimsical, four-line biographical poem.

An English novelist and humorist, Edmund Clerihew Bentley (July 10, 1875 – March 30, 1956), was a 16-year-old student when he thought up the lines for his first ever clerihew.

Sir Humphry Davy
Abominated gravy.
He lived in the odium

Of having discovered sodium

As with most poetry, the Clerihew is defined by a set of rules. It must contain four lines, rhyming couplets of AA/BB, a person’s name in the first line, say something about that person and it should be humorous. It is meant to be a funny poem, of course.

The genre of poetry wasn’t limited to Bentley. Other poets wrote and published in form as well, and still do.

  • A Cluster of Clerihews by Gavin Ewart
  • Excuse My Clerihews by William Hazell
  • The Lost Clerihews of Paul Ingram by Paul Ingram (Though they don’t really seem lost, I guess they once were.)

Like limericks, poets poke fun at people real and imagined. As with any humor, it’s meant to draw a chuckle from the reader as well as the subject of the poem. If you can’t laugh at yourself and you’re the subject of a clerihew, it’s probably better not to read it. If you’re writing a clerihew about someone who can’t take a joke, maybe don’t write the clerihew. Or, write it about not being able to take a joke.

Nelly Belly ha ha
Danced to Lady GaGa.
Fell on her bum.

Cried in her rum.

HOW TO OBSERVE NATIONAL CLERIHEW DAY

On National Clerihew Day, try writing a clerihew or two of your own! Post on social media using #NationalClerihewDay.

HISTORY OF NATIONAL CLERIHEW DAY

The day is observed annually on the anniversary of Edmund Clerihew Bentley’s birth, July 10th.

There are over 1,500 national days. Don’t miss a single one. Celebrate Every Day® with National Day Calendar®!

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