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.

LEARN MORE: THE RHYME ZONE

  • 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. Cat in the hat,
    enjoys eating rats
    Cat in the hat got a new look
    and became a cook.

  2. Cat in the hat,
    enjoys eating rats
    Cat in the hat got a new look
    became a cook.

  3. The celebrity in my poem is Alber Einstien enjoy:
    Albert Einestien
    He is the smartest person of all time,
    He really thinks hard.
    He writes research on his t-chart

  4. clerihew

    Derek ruddy
    has 2 puppies
    they started to chew on brass
    then derek got grounded and had to plant grass

  5. vincent van gogh

    Makes beautiful panting to show
    with beautiful brush strokes
    until he died he was broke

  6. this is true Natalie and i saw your picture and in a bubble it said ” I have a dream’ it was cute

  7. Enjoy the poems about my mom and dad.

    Simone Anne (a)
    Loves to eat ham (a)
    Loves to see erames (b)
    Loves to go on planes. (b)

    Danny Ray (a)
    Loves to play (a)
    He always has a great day (b)
    He loves to eat buffets. (b)

  8. The person who made minecraft
    My noteworthy person is Markus Persson.

    Markus Persson
    was the first person
    to put together,
    all of the nether.

    hope you enjoyed

  9. Imagine Dragons And Wagons

    Imagine a dragon
    Riding a wagon
    Down the road
    Eating a toad

  10. The noteworthy person I would like to feature is Martin Luther King.
    Here is my poem:

    Martin Luther King
    made his voice ring,
    as he spoke
    to all the folk.

    I think clerihew poems are about evoking a mood. 😀

  11. The celebrity I am going to feature in my poem Tony Stark.
    Here’s my poem:

    Tony Stark
    Had a friend named Mark.
    They fought the world together.
    In the freezing cold weather.

    I think clerihew poems are about evoking a mood.

  12. Clerihew biograpic
    Michel Jorden
    Likes to go surfborden
    he thinks he’s cool
    while swimming in the pool

  13. Clerihew poems (Biogrphy,AABB
    Vincent Van gogh.

    makes beautiful paintings to show

    with colorful brush strokes

    until he died he was broke

  14. Clerihews: Poetry That’s Lighthearted in Tone
    1. The celebrities I would like to feature is the band One Direction Here’s my Poem:

    One Direction
    Is perfection
    Its a cool group
    It makes my stomach loop.

    2. I think Clerihew poems are to try to ryhme your feelings. So, it is a tricky kind of thing.

  15. What a fun activity! I can’t wait to see all of the Clerihews. Time to rhyme!