This week Randy Seaver’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun had us writing some bad poetry. I thought writing bad poetry wold be easy. It is easy when you are trying to write good poetry. However, it’s quite difficult to know when you have written a good bad poem.
A Clerihew, you ask? Randy’s instructions say this:
1) Write a Genealogy Clerihew (and what is a “clerihew” you ask? See Jim Smith’s post today for more details and his clerihew (briefly, a clerihew is a four-line irregular poem or verse that follows an AABB rhyme scheme. It is named for the birthday of Edmund Clerihew Bentley the inventor, aka writer, aka poet.”). If you’re feeling especially creative, write two or more!
2) Show us your genealogy clerihew in a blog post of your own, in a comment on this blog post, or in a Facebook comment or update. C’mon, dazzle your readers and friends with your poetry and creativeness.
Being a genealogist of course, I had to do some more research. Like most brilliant scholars in academic disciplines, I immediately went to Wikipedia. From there, I gleaned further insight:
A clerihew has the following properties:
- It is biographical and usually whimsical, showing the subject from an unusual point of view; it pokes fun at mostly famous people
- It has four lines of irregular length (for comic effect); the third and fourth lines are usually longer than the first two
- The rhyme structure is AABB; the subject matter and wording are often humorously contrived in order to achieve a rhyme
- The first line consists solely (or almost solely) of the subject’s name.
Dear Henry McGinnis,
It’s among your descendants unanimous.
We wish that before you lain still,
You’d put the damn quill to the will.
My Great-Great-Great-Grandfather Johns
So without further adieu, I present my humble offerings:
The search has gone on far too long.
It seems really too bad, (‘cause I know one you had)
That you’ve hidden the name of your dad. To all the Staats that say “Stats”
You’re family’s belfry is full of bats
While your phonetical rules try to sate
It’s purely, properly, pronounced “States”