Current Day Clerihews

Happy Birthday Nerys Hughes

A short verse to celebrate the birthday of actress Nerys Hughes, most famous for her role in The Liver Birds.

An Old Man outruns Gebrselassie

A Clerihew to mark the disappointing news that the Olympic marathon in London won’t be graced by all-time great Haile Gebrselassie who has failed to make the Ethiopian team for 2012

Happy Birthday Sir Tom

A birthday poem in Clerihew style to celebrate the 90th birthday of Sir Tom Finney, the finest footballer England has ever produced, and a man of great modesty.

Paddington is TV’s top bear

A short verse celebrating Paddington Bear’s voting in as the most popular children’s TV character of all time.

The Cheltenham Gold Cup

The Cheltenham Gold Cup 2012 reported in Clerihew style.

Head for the hills

A short verse noting that the Discovery Channel has dropped plans for further series by explorer Bear Grylls, who has sometimes been accused of taking to his hotel room while supposedly roughing it.

Top 12 #poetfilms of all time

To celebrate the #poetfilms thread on Twitter, here’s my list of the top 12 poet films ever made.

What Sir Mervyn King told the Treasury Select Committee

A short verse noting the angry outburst by Bank of England governor Sir Mervyn King when unfairly challenged by the Treasury Select Committee about his record, specifically his failure to curtail bankers’ unquenchable thirst for a profit at the taxpayers’ expense.

What made Edvard Munch scream?

A short verse in the style of EC Bentley to greet the news that Edvard Munch’s famous painting The Scream is due to be auctioned at New York, with an expected price tag of £50million.

Freud overjoyed

A short verse marking the recent spate of interest in the artist Lucien Freud who died last year, with major exhibitions planned and TV documentaries screened which dwelt on the enormous number of children Freud fathered, often with his models as the mother.

Ronnie Corbett receives his CBE

A short verse welcoming the news that veteran pint sized comedian Ronnie Corbett has picked up his CBE from Her Majesty the Queen.

The return of Kevin Pietersen

A short verse celebrating the return to form of England batsman Kevin Pietersen who scored his first one day hundred since 2008 in a ODI against Pakistan yesterday.

The Ebdon Red Con

A short verse regretting the coalition horse trading that saw Les Ebdon appointed Boss of the ridiculous Office of Fair Access – with the intention of penalising universities that don’t do enough social engineering to suit his tastes.

The mullahs of Iran

A short verse worrying about the growing nuclear capability of sworn enemy of the West, Iran.

Chris Huhne’s High Noon

A short Clerihew verse noting the decision to charge Energy Secretary Chris Huhne with contempt of court in relation to an alleged driving offence.

The late Sir Fred

A short verse (which has to be read in an Edinburgh accent for the rhymes to work properly) noting that ex-RBS chief Sir Fred Goodwin has been stripped of his knighthood, despite having broken no laws and only being guilty of a catastrophic error of judgement,

Angelo Dundee 1921 -2012

A short Clerihew to commemorate the life of popular boxing trainer Angelo Dundee who has passed away after a lifetime guiding great champions like Sugar Ray Leonard and Muhammed Ali. He first met Ali (then Clay) when the latter was 15 and was immediately impressed by the young boxer’s abilities.

Bonus balls

A Clerihew commenting on RBS CEO Stephen Hester’s reluctant decision to give up his bonus following a campaign of media hysteria and class envy politics.

David Hockney awarded the Order of Meritt

A short verse to mark the appointment of artist David Hockney to the Order of Merit, one of the greatest tributes in British public life. Already a Companion of Honour, Hockney must now be British art’s toppermost dog.

Sculpture theft in Dulwich

A short verse lamenting the theft of one of Dame Barbara Hepworth’s masterpieces from Dulwich Park. The police think the thieves will melt down Two Forms.

Kim Jong-Il 1942-2011

A short verse noting the passing of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il who starved his people, amassed one of the largest armies on earth and sustained his power with an elaborate and improbable cult of personality

Christopher Hitchens 1949 – 2011

A few words in the form of a short verse remembering Christopher Hitchens, the writer, humanist, atheist and contrarian who died yesterday.

The IMF’s leader speaks

A short verse marking the depressing announcement by the head of the IMF Christine Lagarde that the future looks like it will be “gloomy” for most economies.

The search for the Higgs Bosun

A short verse about the much-trailed announcement by scientists at CERN that they haven’t found anything conclusive in their search for the Higgs Bosun.

Christopher Logue 1926 – 2011

A short Cleihew verse to mark the passing of proper poet and comic versifier Christopher Logue, who has died at the age of 85.

Vladimir Antonov resigns from Portsmouth FC

A short verse noting that Portsmouth FC’s parent company Convers Sports Initiatives plc has gone into administration and that Russian Chairman Vladimir Antonov has left the beleaguered club.

The work of the late Ken Russell

A short verse assessing how the varied and innovative work of film-maker Ken Russell, who died yesterday, will be remembered.

Jimmy Carr and the limits of bad taste comedy

A short verse on comedian Jimmy Carr’s defence of a series of close to the knuckle gags which have, not unexpectedly, caused offence in some quarters.

Steve Coogan’s trashcan

A short verse reflecting on the evidence given by Steve Coogan to the Leveson Inquiry into the conduct of the Press and its invasion of the privacy of many people in the public eye, including the creator of Alan Partridge.

The Damien Hirst retrospective at the Tate Modern

A short verse noting the different attitudes to the work of artist Damien Hirst, who has been awarded a retrospective exhibition in the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall

Basil D’Oliveira

A short verse marking the death of Worcestershire’s Basil D’Oliveira, whose cricketing deeds had a wider beneficial impact in the land of his birth.

That Martin Johnson press conference

A short verse dissecting the reasons for Martin Johnson’s departure as England coach amid foam-flecked fury at England’s moderate rugby, reluctant dwarf-tossing and accomplished drinking.

The Axing of Shooting Stars by the BBC

A short verse noting the BBC’s decison to chop Shooting Stars from its schedule after nearly twenty years of silliness.

Smokin’ Joe Frazier

A short verse to mark the passing of heavyweight boxing superstar Smokin’ Joe Frazier who endured repeated taunts and insults from his great rival Muhammed Ali with dignity.

I, Zlatan arrives in London

A short verse on the arrival of Zlatan Ibrahimovic – the highest paid footabller in Italy and recent author of his modestly titled book I, Zlatan – with the Sweden football team. England beat Sweden 1-0. Zlatan hardly got a kick. O, Zlatan.

The task facing Lucas Papademos

A short verse reflecting on the tricky task ahead for the new Prime Minister of bankrupt Greece.

News International takes a trip to Salem

A short verse lamenting the posturing, points scoring and outright sliminess of some of the members of the Commons Select Committee enquiry into the conduct of News International

A new Italian Prime Minister

A short verse commenting on the expected resignation of Silvio Berlusconi from his long-held position as Prime Minister of Italy

A new Greek Prime Minister

A short verse noting the economically-induced change of Greek Prone Minister amid a chaotic political scene in Athens.

The Home Secretary’s inquiry into border security

A short verse reacting to the news that the Home Secretary did not authorise the extension of a pilot scheme to relax certain border checks.


About this site likes to mark significant moments in public life with a short verse - usually in Clerihew form. We've tightened our poetic belt and cut everything right back to the bare essentials. Every verse on this site takes up fewer than 140 characters, so feel free to tweet them to your friends.

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