Ananta Madhavan


Clerihew For Me And You - Poem by Ananta Madhavan

A schoolboy called Edmund Clerihew
Bentley, as known to a very few
Lovers of English, began a century ago the fad of biography
In four lines and two rhymes, a sort of verse photography.

If asked why we ignore the surname Bentley,
I would reply ignorantly or innocently,
That what young Edmund innovated was levity
In finding rhymes to fit the four-line brevity.

- - - - - - - October 2015,

Written when I remembered the popular verse:

John Stuart Mill,
By a mighty effort of will,
Overcame his natural bonhomie
And wrote ‘Principles of Political Economy’.

Topic(s) of this poem: light poetry

Form: Clerihew


Poet's Notes about The Poem

Indians who like this genre of comic or gnomic verse, could try to
compose clerihews on famous people in our history and myths.

Comments about Clerihew For Me And You by Ananta Madhavan

  • Edward Kofi Louis (6/6/2016 6:58:00 AM)


    Brevity! ! With the muse of life. Thanks for sharing this poem with us. (Report) Reply

    A. Madhavan (6/6/2016 8:25:00 PM)

    Thanks for your commendation. You emboldened me to post the verse on FaceBook. AM

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Valsa George (10/29/2015 11:02:00 PM)


    The man Bentley and the innovative verse he formulated are totally unknown to many of us! Remembering him, the verse biography on Stuart Mill that you wrote in four lines and two rhymes is indeed praise worthy! Thank you for sharing with us this new form of verse! (Report) Reply

    A. Madhavan (10/30/2015 12:24:00 AM)

    Dear Poet Valsa, I feel elated when you like something I wrote, since you are a creative author. This
    Clerihew form is at least a century old, the limerick is older. I find that rhyming is rather similar to being aware of puns, said to be an inferior form of wit, and yet popular with many ordinary folk. This may be
    partly due to the phonetic kinship merging with some satire or hint of criticism. I tried it in my recent
    verse about the Indo-English word, 'time-pass', which conveys a different shade of meaning from 'pastime'. All the best to you. Madhavan

  • Kelly Kurt (10/28/2015 8:15:00 PM)


    Very well done, Ananta. I have never heard of this before but I like it. Thanks (Report) Reply

    A. Madhavan (10/28/2015 9:00:00 PM)

    Thank you very sincerely, Poet Kelly Kurt,
    Such commendation from a long-standing and well-read Member is indeed a boost to
    me, advanced in years if not in literary merit or achievement. I think we could pep up some
    light verse in our contributions, suitable to the context.. Best wishes, A. Madhavan

  • (10/24/2015 10:40:00 PM)


    Wow! Had never heard of clerihew before, it's very entertaining, I like it! Thank you for sharing these two poems, I will see if I can write some. It is totally new to me, but I will see what comes of it. Thank you for sharing. RoseAnn (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Friday, October 23, 2015



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