Nobel Clerihews

George Bernard Shaw

Thought dawdling a bore.

‘There’s nothing quite sadder;

Now fetch me my ladder.’


Eugene O’Neill

Made love to a seal

On the deck of a schooner.

The result was Oona.


José Saramago

Was placed under embargo

When he said a joined-up Iberia

Would make people cheerier.


Günter Grass

Had a musical arse,

Which, prompted by pain,

Would fart ‘Lili Marleen’.


Doris Lessing

Bathed in French dressing.

Fingers were crossed

When her salad was tossed.


Poet Clerihews

Ye lerned John Lydgate
Was ne bet than thrydde-rate.
A ful bounteous monk,
Yit hys bookes were al bunk.

Christopher Smart
Practised his art
In odes to his moggy.
His reasons were foggy.

W.S. Landor
Was much marked by candor.
But who cares what he said?
His verse goes unread.

Robert Browning
Was dissuaded from frowning
At the response to ‘Sordello’
By the charms of a bordello.

Ezra Pound
Was quite often found
Praising Benito.
His career was finito.

Stevie Smith,
With her precision and pith,
Was oft thought obscene
In staid Palmers Green.

Ted Hughes
Had a great ruse.
‘My diction is aureate;
I’ll be poet laureate.’