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Clerihew: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the clerihew, which is an English quatrain form.

The clerihew is an English poetic form invented by Edmund Clerihew Bentley. It has the following guidelines:

  • Quatrain (or four-line) poem (or stanzas).
  • Rhyme scheme: aabb
  • First line is a person's full name.
  • The final three lines sum up the person named in the first line (usually humorous).
  • Each of the rhyming lines are of different lengths.

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The Complete Guide of Poetic Forms

Play with poetic forms!

Poetic forms are fun poetic games, and this digital guide collects more than 100 poetic forms, including more established poetic forms (like sestinas and sonnets) and newer invented forms (like golden shovels and fibs).

Click to continue.

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Here’s my attempt at a clerihew:

Bright Eyes, by Robert Lee Brewer

Robert Lee Brewer
was an honesty eschewer
who found his truths were mistaken
for hearts he was a-breakin'.

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