Rhyme: Clerihew Poems

(Credit: Rochedale State School)

Clerihew | Rochedale State School

The story goes that Edmund Clerihew Bentley, at the age of 16, invented a form of whimsical RHYME while attending classes at St. Paul’s School in London.

Interestingly, Edmund and his friends wrote a form of poetry using the following rules:

  • Clerihew – a four (4) line biographical poem.
  • At the end of the first line it must show the name the celebrity or noteworthy person.
  • The poem must follow the rhyme scheme AABB.
  • The line length and meter of your poem can be irregular.

Using the same rules, here’s our amusing example:

There’s a band called One Direction,

with moves that show off their rhythm section,

Although some say that their will come a day,

When their warble will whistle away.

Here’s another amusing example:

Edgar Alan Poe

Penned stories that we all know

And every one that he wrote

Seems to end on a gruesome note.

Be mindful of the following points:

  • Does your poem sound mean? If so, change the words and make it lighthearted in tone. Your words must show that it’s meant to be playful and fun.
  • Make sure that you have two couplets in your poem at the end of each line – AABB.


  • Now it’s your turn to create a four-line biographical poem. Which celebrity or noteworthy person will your Clerihew poem feature?
  • What do you think Clerihew poems are about? Educate the reader, create nostalgia, evoke a mood, etc?

Categories: Literary Devices

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36 replies

  1. Justin Bieber

    Makes us want to use a clever

    His singing gives us headaches

    The voice that shreaks like screaming brakes

    • lolz that’s a awesome and funny poem i agree with you justin bieber is not a good roll modle to people like littler kids. cool poem.