by John McCall

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Phony Pearls of Mythology
Clerihews Verse

"Mr. Clerihew"
The clerihew is named for its inventor, James Clerihew Bentley (1875- 1956), a British journalist. He would name a person (in the first or second line of a verse) and then finish up with something humorous and fantastic.

The Verses
The verses here follow the master's technique. Each verse has four lines, with the first and second pair rhyming. But there's a twist - the number of syllables in the rhyming lines usually don't match.

Apologies and acknowledgements


Always got nosed by prancing fillies.
But those hoofers (he did feel)
Could get their kicks from any heel.

Says, "They call me a meany,
But there's no malice
Anywhere in my Pallas."

And dra-
-matic pronouncements
By her - are doomed by "feel good" denouncements.

Deceptive Chimera,
This is your era,
With facts you beget
On the Internet.

For us dieters, you don't offer Utopia.
An endless supply to suit every taste
Doesn't do any favors for anyone's waist.

Is sharp, not stupid.
But, visually impaired,
He leaves unconsoled organs to be repaired.

It's you, I'm betting on.
I'll have more luck with you, Aurora,
Than I ever did with that snoop Pandora.

Suffered from a jilted libido.
Not just any yen -
But corrupt (since she WAS Carthaginian).

Put his devotees in a crisis -
Over whether to worship or whether to sin.
But hallelujah! They got them both in.

Fates -
With those three, never make dates.
Just when you think that you're ahead,
At least one will cut you dead.

Have a worse rep than sharpies.
Folks called them "loathsome,"
And they do tear your clothes some.

Jove -
His eyes rove.
Was it for lovers all a jovial swoon? Oh -
You know Juno. 

We're now minus.
He taught Hercules musicalities - or tried,
And from criticism died.

I don't scorn your lonely horn.
Through a looking glass, it's no longer alone,
 Since in the reflection, you'll see a clone.

The wool can
Be pulled over Olympian eyes,
And they can get an ungodly surprise

I refuse to have your papoose!"
"You just won't understand a spirit creative!
On American soil, it always goes native."  

Apology to the Experts

Connoisseurs of the clerihew will miss the master's journalistic flavor in  these  all-too jingly efforts, but any bunch of clerihews on the web is likely to  encourage someone (who never would have thought of it) to write a clerihew. Any list like this might conceivably help spawn a master of the form.

Ned Sherrin, the distinguished playwright and author of The Oxford Dictionary  of Humorous Quotations first introduced me to the clerihew. Also, I have  benefited greatly by the example of  "Mr. Clerihew," numerous verses from Light  Magazine, quotations from Academic Graffiti by W. H. Auden, and Brief Candles:  101 Clerihews by Henry Taylor.

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Rev 2010-1.