“Britney Spears”–a Clerihew by Paul Burgess

As William Baer notes, a clerihew “consists of two couplets (aabb) where the first line of the poem is generally the name of a famous person; the second line is some kind of outrageous predicate; and the final two lines often call up some historical fact or fantasy about the subject” (Writing Metrical Poetry 186).

Here is a sample from Edward Clerihew Bentley, the form’s inventor: “George the Third/Ought never to have occurred./One can only wonder/At so grotesque a blunder.”

The following clerihew is the first one I have attempted to write:

To hear the voice of Britney Spears

Brought to life my darkest fears

Because her rise I knew would bring

A wave of stars who couldn’t sing.


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