MaryJane Butters was milking her cow
When Megan cried, “Hurry, Mom, follow me NOW.”
Together, they ran to the garden to see …
A beanstalk (heirloom) as big as a tree.
That, my friends, was a clerihew.
More than mere willy-nilly rhyming verse, this type of half-pint poem has rather distinct rules. A true clerihew must contain …
- A bit of wit
- Four lines of uneven length with the rhyming scheme AABB
- The name of the subject within the first line
But, wait—there’s more …
According to Edmund Clerihew Bentley (1875-1956), originator of the form (at age 16!), a true clerihew will either a) position the subject’s name at the end of the first line, or b) use only the name as the first line. Why? Because the whole point of the poem, he declared, is to rhyme with awkward names.
Maybe I need to take another stab at it? Perhaps something more along these lines:
Was stymied by stutters
When she spied a strange cat
Wearing THIS as a hat.