Clerihew Day

July 10 is Clerihew Day, named for English author Edmund Clerihew Bentley and taking place on his birthday.
A day recognized in remembrance of Edmund Clerihew Bentley, journalist and author of the celebrated detective thriller Trent’s Last Case, but perhaps best known for his invention of a popular humorous verse form, the clerihew, consisting of two rhymed couplets of unequal length:
Edmund’s middle name was Clerihew
A name possessed by very few,
But verses by Mr Bentley
Succeeded eminently.

A clerihew is a whimsical, four-line biographical poem invented by Edmund Clerihew Bentley. There are typically five classic rules for a Clerihew: four lines, rhyming couplets of AA/BB, a person’s name as its first line, something to say about that person, and it should make you smile. There’s no fixed meter, which means no scansion involved (meaning all literary scholars may collectively exhale). Plus, these seem like the sorts of rhymes you might find in a Dr. Seuss story. Either that or some sort of nursery rhyme. The poems can be critical, but are mostly used in jest. The rhythm involved is bouncy, sing-songy, and unavoidably catchy.

The form was invented by Bentley when he was a 16-year-old student at St. Paul’s School in London. He was in science class when a poem about Sir Humphry Davy popped into his head. It read:
Sir Humphrey Davy
Abominated gravy.
He lived in the odium
Of having discovered Sodium.

Edmund Clerihew Bentley
E. C. Bentley (full name Edmund Clerihew Bentley; 10 July 1875 – 30 March 1956) was a popular English novelist and humorist of the early twentieth century, and the inventor of the clerihew, an irregular form of humorous verse on biographical topics.
Bentley worked as a journalist on several newspapers, including the Daily Telegraph. His first published collection of poetry, titled Biography for Beginners (1905), popularized the clerihew form; it was followed by two other collections, More Biography (1929) and Baseless Biography (1939). His detective novel, Trent's Last Case (1913), was much praised, numbering Dorothy L. Sayers among its admirers, and with its labyrinthine and mystifying plotting can be seen as the first truly modern mystery. It was adapted as a film in 1920, 1929, and 1952. The success of the work inspired him, after 23 years, to write a sequel, Trent's Own Case (1936). There was also a book of Trent short stories, Trent Intervenes. Several of his books were reprinted in the early 2000s by House of Stratus.
He died in 1956 in London at the age of 80. His son Nicolas Bentley was a famous illustrator.