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Poetry Challenges

More Clerihews [with thanks to Rick Winston]

In 1995, Henry Rathvon and Emily Cox ran a clerihew challenge, and Rick Winston made a copy of the results:

<<<  ***Results of Clerihews in the News***

Mr. Rathvon and Ms. Cox
Don't fit any convenient box.
They push one to wax Ogden Nashish
For contests more addictive than hashish.

   Such is the opinion of contestant RPhill5136, whose views are expressed above in Clerihew style. The Clerihew, that odd little verse form invented 100 years ago by Edmund Clerihew Bentley, proved wonderfully fertile in a 1990s context. But it also proved quite challenging, as its staggered rhythms required an artful touch in order to elicit the proper funny-bone twang. Contestant Glemward mused:

Why choose
How much sweeter
Are things that rhyme with the usual sort of meter!

   And VCRogers, reflecting on the havoc we word-gamers were wreaking, concluded:

E.C. Bentley
Did not go gently
Into that good night--
But after this, he might!

   Suffice it to say that your Clerihumor--from the subtle to the sledgehammer--gave us a lot of laughs. We'll conduct another of these Clerihew festivals in a future contest. Meanwhile our  favorite verses are listed below, topped by three jauntily witty winners. (Contestant Sean Med quipped, "Could the prize for this contest be considered a 'hew grant?") Each of our winners will receive 5 free AOL hours plus a book of his or her choice from the Atlantic's online bookstore. Congratulations Ravensegg, Cruciver, and JebMar!

***The Clerihew Winners***

General Shalikashvili--
Now, I ask you, really.
With a name like that
Shouldn't he wear a much bigger hat? (Ravensegg)

The Kennedys
Are used to having all of the amenities.
Their wealth's so great it even beggars
Schwarzenegger's. (Cruciver)

Peter McNeeley
Had a great deal. He
Fought Tyson from the deck and
Made thousands per second. (JebMar)

Five of the runners-up:

Dorothy Gish
Choked on a fish
At the cotillion
Embarrassing Lillian. (G8ly)

Henry Kissinger
Covets Kim Basinger.
If she were his frau
He'd be Kissinger now.  (G8ly)

Jean-Paul Sartre
Despised Descartes
Because of his insistence
On meaningful existence. (G8ly)

Warren Beatty
Loved to date, he
Fooled around with every girl he
Met except of course for Shirley. (StefSpad)

Elizabeth Taylor
Diets constantly so as to look frailer.
"Though I may at times be chubby,"
She says, "I'm never without a new hubby." 

September 14, 2022

May 16, 2022

March 16, 2022

October 05, 2021

October 04, 2021

September 28, 2021

September 02, 2021

October 06, 2020

August 14, 2020

Best American Poetry Web ad3
click image to order your copy
BAP ad
"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly


I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman

Click image to order


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