Clerihew Poetry

Today’s post anticipates tomorrow’s workshops, where hopefully we will all get stuck into some inking up and printing practice.

Alison Cook, one of our excellent volunteers, has penned the following Clerihew poems referencing the project. She notes that Clerihews were invented by Edmund Clerihew Bentley (1875 – 1956).

Clerihews are four lined verses written without metre, with rhyming couplets of AABB. They feature a person (or people) in the first line, they say something about that person, and they are wonderfully humorous. They should be read aloud.

We hope you enjoy these, and look forward to more poetic treats, and probably some brilliant inky photos tomorrow:

William Caxton
leant on a capstan
not wanting to go to sea
establishing a press he printed books for thee

Virginia Woolf
pondered the widening gulf
between image and word,
in print the Waste Land concurred

Vita Sackville-West
thought fiction was best
’til a novel idea came to mind
in a poem called Sissinghurst, you know, of the Georgian kind

Carolyn and Vicki
re-imagined black and sticky
said, that’s enough it’s your turn to letterpress
gung ho were the volunteers and printed with finesse


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