E. C. Bentley (1875-1956), the English journalist and writer, was famous in the first half of the 20th century for his Philip Trent mystery stories. One of his short stories, The Sweet Shot, was selected for inclusion in Golf’s Best Short Stories edited by Paul D. Staudohar and published in 1997. But Bentley, whose full name was Edmund Clerihew Bentley, should be better known for inventing a particular type of poem that has become known as the “Clerihew.” Clerihews are four line verses of the form aabb, in other words, the first and second lines rhyme as do the third and fourth. Beyond their rhyming scheme, Clerihews have a particular structure and purpose. Each focuses on one or more aspects of the life and/or the works of a famous person while allowing for, better yet encouraging, overstatement, distortion and humor. It is also a requirement that the first line of a Clerihew begin or end with the person’s name. When Bentley was 16 he wrote his first Clerihew.
Sir Humphry Davy
He lived in the odium
Of having discovered Sodium
Bentley, in later years, wrote at least two golf Clerihews. [Read more…]