Monday, March 26, 2012

A clerihew? We have a few ...

This winner from EH:

Richard Starkey
Lost his car key,
But Ringo Starr
Didn't need a car.

And one more from me:

Elliott Carter
Could not be smarter,
Though for many, his music
Is pretty confusic.

Please bear with us. These spells usually pass within a few days.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

A couple more

This from EH in response to my first clerihew:

The wife of Johann Sebastian Bach,
possessed of only a sock
for protection,
created for orchestra a violin section.

It took me a second to get it, but I like it tons. One thing I have sworn never to do is reverse word order for the sake of a rhyme, but EH is a Latin scholar, so we can forgive the "Latinate" construction.

And one more from me:

Charles Ives
Led two lives,
Which freed him to compose
"From Hanover Square North at the End of a Tragic Day the Voice of the People Again Arose."

Saturday, March 24, 2012

A clerihew

My Concise Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms defines a "clerihew" as "a form of comic verse named after its inventor, Edmund Clerihew Bentley (1875-1956). It consists of two metrically awkward couplets and usually presents a ludicrously uninformative 'biography' of some famous person whose name appears as one of the rhymed words in the first couplet."

The dictionary offers this example:

Geoffrey Chaucer
Could hardly have been coarser,
But this never harmed the sales
Of his Canterbury Tales.

Reading that, I suddenly remembered a poem W.H. Auden once recited on the old Dick Cavett Show, and at last I recognized it for the clerihew it was:

John Milton
Never slept in a Hilton
Which is just as well.

So here, now, is a clerihew of my own (actually my only one) on a musical subject.

Johann Sebastian Bach
Possessed a limitless stock
Of contrapuntal profundity
And full-frontal rotundity.