UPDATE: This post will float at the top until Monday. New content is below.

Hey everyone!

It’s time for the Second Annual Clerihew Contest! Last year‘s was just so much fun I decided to make it an annual event. This year’s winner will receive a signed copy of Miss Conduct’s Mind over Manners.

July 10 is Clerihew Day, celebrating the poetic invention of Edmund Clerihew Bentley. These are the rules for a Clerihew poem:

1. They are about a person, and the first line is (usually) the name of that person.
2. There are four lines.
3. The rhyme scheme is AABB; the first two lines and the second two lines rhyme.
4. There is no meter; that is, the lines can be as long or short as you want.

Here is the winning entry from last year:

Tim Berners-Lee
Invented HTTP
Thus the World Wide Web was born
For Nigerian Diplomats and porn.

And the four runners-up:

Bill Gates
Has left the giant software company everyone hates.
“Hey, Mistah?
Are *you* gonna use Vista?”

William S. Burroughs
Had a brow filled with wrinkles and furrows
(Which were probably exacerbated, of course,
By his addiction to horse).

Thomas Edison
Invented a type of electricity that we have mostly had to jettison.
The clear advantages of direct over alternating current

Edmund C. Bentley
Wrote intently,
But would now be anonymous
Were it not for the verse form for which his middle name is eponymous.

Get the idea?

The rules of the Second Annual Miss Conduct Clerihew contest:

1. Leave your clerihews in comments (on this blog or the other one, it doesn’t matter).
2. Follow the proper clerihew form.
3. No clerihews about me, Mr. Improbable, or Milo (if you want to post or e-mail me some, we’d be delighted, but clerihews about the judge, her spouse, or beloved dog can’t be considered for the contest for reasons of objectivity).
4. Clerihews containing sexual or political material will be disallowed.
5. You can enter as many clerihews as you like.
6. Clerihews will be judged on wit, accuracy, psychological perspecuity, and linguistic ingenuity.

Entries will be accepted until midnight on Sunday. On Monday, July 6, I will post the top 5 clerihews. Then you can vote on the winners, right here on this blog. Voting will be open until noon on Friday, July 10–CLERIHEW DAY!–at which point the winner will be posted, and may begin a wild weekend of celebration.

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16 Responses to CLERIHEW CONTEST

  1. Molly says:

    *raises hand* Miss Conduct, Miss Conduct, does it have to be about a real person or are fictional characters acceptable?

    Thank you.

  2. Robin says:

    Oooh, I think fictional characters are okay.

  3. Brooke says:

    Michael Jackson,
    His death presumed natural until we get all the facts in,
    Despite going from Black to pink
    Earns eulogies less comical and ironic than you’d think.

  4. David says:

    [Redacted for privacy reasons] Street
    is where the Ig Nobel planners meet
    can this sedate home’s passersby and neighbors
    guess what odd research it harbors?

  5. Neil Gussman says:

    John Wayne
    Got shot in movies and barely felt pain
    In Iraq I am miserable just from being hot
    Those movie soldiers are a tougher lot.

  6. Seth says:

    Ogden Nash
    Got some measure of fame and some measure of cash
    By proving that there was a market for poetry that contained absurdity,
    And that people didn’t even mind if you invented the occasional wordity.

  7. Seth says:

    Snoop Doggy Dogg
    Lives high on the hog
    But is forced to remain grounded
    Due to the criminal record by which he is constantly hounded.

  8. Brooke says:

    Since favorite fictional characters are fair game:

    Sam Gamgee
    Saved Middle-Earth from calamitchy.
    For all my misgivings about romanticizing social hierarchies and the self-immolating sacrifice of the batman for the one above him…
    I love him.

  9. Brooke says:

    Hm, adding a slash ruined the link in my Sam Gamgee post. Here it is fixed:

  10. Eric says:

    Mr. Bernie Madoff
    Ponzi’s never pay off
    Except for social security,
    Where I pay for the ones ahead of me.

  11. Neil Gussman says:

    Lance Armstrong
    Retired a 7-time champion who could do no wrong
    Now he will try for eight
    And live Michael Jordan’s Fate

  12. Rachel Walmsley says:

    Sigmund Freud
    Was paranoid
    Lest someone realised
    That he was the origin of what he theorised

  13. Bonnie B says:

    Since I’m currently addicted to The Wire on dvd:

    Russell “Stringer” Bell
    for his crimes is certainly writhing in Hell
    But if the truth be known, I cried when he got hit
    that’s testament to the man’s many charms, isn’t it?

  14. Cary DeBerry says:

    Poor Luvitor Leavit
    (who coulda conceived it?)
    fell into oblivion
    on the eve of his indecision

  15. Vicki B. says:

    Steven Jobs
    Charon stow thy oar, keep cast thy anchor, not yet are we given over to sobs
    A few months off, a brand new liver, our man Steve is getting well
    And thankfully so, as unlike you, he keeps us away from the “Gates” of Hell

  16. Susan G. says:

    Hi, I’m Billy Mays
    And I can help you out in so many ways.
    This Oxiclean will keep your halo from looking very dim
    So you will be the envy of all the seraphim.

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