National Clerihew Day – July 10: Celebrate, Facts & Quotes

Clerihews have been bringing laughter and amusement to poetry enthusiasts for decades. On July 10th, we celebrate National Clerihew Day, a day dedicated to these witty and humorous four-line verses. 

In this article, we will explore the origins of National Clerihew Day, learn about the structure and characteristics of clerihews, and discover how we can all participate in this delightful celebration of wordplay and creativity.

Poetry is often associated with deep emotions, intricate metaphors, and profound themes. However, there exists a unique form of poetry that takes a lighter approach and prioritizes humor and entertainment. This form is known as the clerihew, and it has its own special day on the calendar.

What is National Clerihew Day?

National Clerihew Day is observed on July 10th each year. It serves as a tribute to the clerihew, a whimsical style of poetry invented by Edmund Clerihew Bentley in the late 19th century. On this day, poets and enthusiasts come together to celebrate the cleverness and wit found within these concise and playful verses.

Origins of National Clerihew Day

National Clerihew Day originated as a way to honor the inventive mind of Edmund Clerihew Bentley. Born on July 10, 1875, Bentley was an English author and humorist who is credited with creating the clerihew form. By designating July 10th as National Clerihew Day, we pay homage to Bentley’s contribution to the world of literature and humor.

Who Created the Clerihew?

Edmund Clerihew Bentley, an English novelist, and journalist, is the genius behind the clerihew. He introduced this unique form of poetry in 1890 at the tender age of 15. Bentley’s creative mind and love for wordplay led him to develop a distinctive structure for composing humorous verses about notable people.

The Structure of a Clerihew

Clerihews follow a specific structure. They consist of four lines, with the first and second lines forming one rhyming couplet and the third and fourth lines forming another. The rhyming scheme is AABB, and the poem’s subject is typically a well-known person. The humor lies in the unexpected and often absurd content of the verses.

Examples of Clerihews

Here are a few examples of clerihews to illustrate the style and tone:

Example 1:

Sir Isaac Newton

Was never fond of fruit

He’d rather contemplate

An apple’s weight

Example 2:

William Shakespeare

Wrote plays with flair

His words still inspire

Bard of poetic fire

Example 3:

Albert Einstein

Had a brilliant mind, so fine

E=mc² he unveiled

The theory of relativity never failed

Celebrating National Clerihew Day

National Clerihew Day is a fantastic opportunity to engage in creative expression and share laughter with others. Whether you are a seasoned poet or a novice wordsmith, you can participate in this celebration by writing and sharing your own clerihews. Embrace the lightheartedness and joy that clerihews bring, and spread the mirth throughout the day.

Benefits of Writing and Sharing Clerihews

Writing and sharing clerihews can have numerous benefits. Firstly, it encourages creativity and the exploration of language in a light-hearted manner. It also helps develop a sense of humor and wit, as crafting clever verses requires a playful and imaginative mindset. Furthermore, clerihews can bring people together, fostering connections and conversations through shared laughter and amusement.

How to Participate in National Clerihew Day

Participating in National Clerihew Day is simple and enjoyable. Here’s how you can get involved:

  • Write your own clerihews: Choose a well-known person or celebrity and compose a witty verse about them.
  • Share your clerihews: Post your clerihews on social media platforms using the hashtag #NationalClerihewDay to join the online celebration.
  • Engage with others: Read and appreciate the clerihews shared by fellow participants. Like, comment, and share the ones that tickle your funny bone.

Promoting Clerihews on Social Media

Social media platforms offer an excellent avenue for promoting and sharing clerihews on National Clerihew Day. Use the power of hashtags to reach a wider audience and connect with fellow poetry enthusiasts. Spread the joy of clerihews by posting your creations and engaging in conversations about this unique form of poetry.

Clerihew Writing Tips and Techniques

To create engaging clerihews, consider the following tips:

  • Choose intriguing subjects: Focus on well-known personalities, historical figures, or celebrities who offer interesting material for humor and wordplay.
  • Embrace wordplay and puns: Clever plays on words add depth and amusement to your verses. Look for opportunities to incorporate puns and unexpected connections.
  • Keep it concise: Clerihews thrive on brevity. Keep each verse to four lines and strive to deliver humor and wit within those constraints.

Famous Clerihews and Their Authors

Throughout history, many famous poets and writers have embraced the charm of the clerihew. Here are a few notable examples:

  • T.S. Eliot: The renowned poet composed clerihews as a delightful diversion from his more serious works.
  • W.H. Auden: The esteemed poet and essayist penned clerihews that showcased his wit and humor.
  • Ogden Nash: The beloved American poet created whimsical and amusing clerihews that entertained readers of all ages.

Importance of Humor and Creativity in Clerihews

Humor and creativity are essential elements of clerihews. They infuse these verses with a unique charm that sets them apart from other forms of poetry. By incorporating humor, wordplay, and unexpected connections, clerihews bring joy and laughter to readers and create a memorable experience.

The Evolution and Popularity of Clerihews

Over the years, clerihews have gained popularity for their ability to entertain and amuse. From their humble beginnings in the late 19th century to the present day, these witty verses continue to captivate audiences worldwide. National Clerihew Day serves as a reminder of the enduring appeal of this delightful form of poetry.

5 Mind-Blowing Facts About Poems

  • The Oldest Poem: The oldest known poem in the world is called the “Epic of Gilgamesh.” It dates back to ancient Mesopotamia around 2100 BCE. This epic poem tells the story of a king’s quest for immortality and offers a fascinating glimpse into the early literary traditions of human civilization.
  • Longest Poem Ever Written: The longest poem ever written is called the “Mahabharata.” It is an ancient Indian epic that consists of over 200,000 verses, making it roughly ten times longer than Homer’s “Iliad” and “Odyssey” combined. This epic masterpiece covers various aspects of life, including philosophy, politics, and morality.
  • The Sonnet’s Origin: The sonnet, a popular form of poetry, originated in Italy during the 13th century. The Italian poet Petrarch is often credited with popularizing the sonnet, and his collection of 366 sonnets, “Canzoniere,” became a major influence on Renaissance poetry.
  • Haiku Structure: Haiku, a traditional form of Japanese poetry, is known for its concise structure and vivid imagery. These poems consist of three lines, with a syllable pattern of 5-7-5. Despite its brevity, a well-crafted haiku can evoke deep emotions and create a vivid snapshot of a moment in nature.
  • Untranslatable Poetic Concepts: Many languages around the world have unique poetic concepts that are difficult to translate into English. For example, in Japanese, there is a concept called “yūgen,” which refers to a profound and mysterious beauty that cannot be fully explained or understood. Exploring these untranslatable poetic concepts reveals the rich diversity of human expression through poetry.

National Clerihew Day Dates

2023July 10Monday
2024July 10Wednesday
2025July 10Thursday
2026July 10Friday
2027July 10Saturday

National Clerihew Day Quotes, Wishes & Messages 

“On National Clerihew Day, let’s rhyme and play, with verses witty, humorous, and gay. Enjoy the joy this poetry brings, as laughter and creativity take wings!”

“Wishing you a happy National Clerihew Day! May your verses be clever, your rhymes be true, and your laughter contagious as you share them too!”

“Celebrate National Clerihew Day with a smile, for these playful verses never fail to beguile. Let your creativity flow and your wit shine bright, as you compose clerihews that bring delight!”

“Sending you warm wishes on National Clerihew Day! May your poetic talent soar high, as you craft verses that make us laugh and sigh.”

“Happy National Clerihew Day! May your rhymes be clever, your humor sharp, as you create verses that light up the dark.”

“Cheers to National Clerihew Day! Let’s revel in the beauty of this unique form of wordplay. May your verses bring joy and your creativity take flight, as you celebrate this delightful day and night!”

“On National Clerihew Day, let’s rhyme and jest, bringing smiles to all who are blessed. May your clerihews be witty and your laughter never cease, as we celebrate this day of playful peace!”

“Wishing you a fantastic National Clerihew Day! May your verses be quirky, your humor be grand, as you write clerihews that make us understand.”

“Happy National Clerihew Day! Embrace the charm of this poetic play. Let your imagination run wild and your words dance with glee, as you compose clerihews that bring laughter and glee!”

“May National Clerihew Day fill your heart with mirth, as you pen verses that celebrate wit and mirth. Enjoy the beauty of wordplay and the joy it imparts, as you express your creativity with your heart.”


On July 10th, we celebrate National Clerihew Day, a day dedicated to the joy and humor of clerihews. Take this opportunity to embrace your creativity, engage in wordplay, and share laughter with others. Let the spirit of the clerihew inspire you to explore the lighter side of poetry and appreciate the cleverness and wit it offers. So, grab your pen, compose a clerihew, and join the celebration of National Clerihew Day!


1. Can anyone write a clerihew?

Absolutely! Clerihews are open to everyone. Whether you’re an experienced poet or just starting your poetic journey, you can have fun crafting your own clever verses.

2. Are there any rules for writing a clerihew?

While clerihews have a loose structure and are meant to be light-hearted, they do follow a specific format of four lines with an AABB rhyme scheme. Beyond that, feel free to unleash your creativity and experiment with humor and wordplay.

3. Can I share my clerihews on social media?

Yes! Social media platforms provide a great platform for sharing your clerihews and connecting with other poetry enthusiasts. Remember to use the hashtag #NationalClerihewDay to join the conversation.

4. Can I write clerihews about fictional characters?

Certainly! While clerihews often focus on real people, there’s no rule against creating clever verses about fictional characters. Let your imagination run wild!

5. Is National Clerihew Day celebrated worldwide?

National Clerihew Day has gained recognition in various parts of the world. Though its observance may vary, the joy of clerihews transcends borders, making it a delightful celebration for poetry lovers everywhere.

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