Thursday, July 5, 2007

Weekly Writing Challenge--The Clerihew

Here's another poetic form I've never tried, but it sounds like a lot of fun! The clerihew is very simple. It is about a person. It is funny. It is four lines long, the first and second lines rhyme, and the third and fourth lines rhyme.

This form was invented by Edmund Clerihew Bentley, and is named after him. While he was a student, he began writing these humorous poems about the people he was studying. They were a great hit with his friends! The first Clerihew ever written was this:

Sir Humphry Davy
Detested gravy.
He lived in the odium
Of having discovered sodium.

Another one of Bentley's is this:

Daniel Defoe
Lived a long time ago.
He had nothing to do, so
He wrote Robinson Crusoe.

Here's a final example I came across that I found particularly amusing:

Their music hurts my ears.
I much prefer Britney Spears.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

The Fourth in Red and Green

They walked along the pavement with their banners bravely showing bold,
The women round and glowing leading children with their chins held high.
And before them proudly waving red and green and white and gold
Went a flag whose colors make no difference in the way it flies.

Up ahead, a vintage car held red-and-white-striped Uncle Sam.
And behind, the marching band was playing Stars and Stripes on beat,
But all eyes were focused on the All-Hispanic Church of God
As they joined our town's parade with tambourines and marching feet.

Did their symbol spurn their new land where they came to live and pray,
Where God looked down on all of us and gave us all the same good Word?
Or had we failed to welcome some, including those who marched this day--
The only group to pass us by while not a clapping hand was heard?

This poem (my effort at octameter!) was inspired by a real experience at the Fourth of July parade this morning. I think it needs an ending-- a final verse. But the conflict continues in this country, and for the life of me, I don't know what that last stanza will be.