In Competition 2824 you were invited to submit double clerihews about a well-known sporting figure past or present.
The clerihew was invented by Edmund Clerihew Bentley as a bored schoolboy. His son Nicolas subsequently came up with the double clerihew and trebles have been recorded. Other noted practitioners include Chesterton and Auden — and, of course, James Michie, who contributed many stellar examples to this magazine.
The rules governing the form are not iron-clad, as I see it. After all, Bentley himself bent them from time to time, as in this example.
The art of Biography Is different
from Geography. Geography is about maps,
But Biography is about chaps.
The winners below earn £15 for each entry printed.
Could never be mistaken for George Clooney.
One is extremely hot,
The other not.
But to be fair,
While George is handsome, debonair
And good in romantic roles,
He scores few goals.
Like a possessed bloke,
But had the good fortune to be
No doubt all alopecic swimmers find
Their hair’s nonexistence
Reduces water resistance.
Was British heavyweight boxing’s numero uno.
When he wasn’t on the receiving end of another
To appear on chat shows
Became the noble Brutus of his day,
He could box with his talks and daze
With a witty phrase.
As Muhammad Ali
Who floated like a butterfly and stung like a bee
He made the world hazier
For folk like Frazier.
Was a player to savour,
An Australian hunk
With a left forearm thick as a boab trunk.
What made Rod’s name
Was his dazzling all-round game.
By comparison, Bjorn
Was a yawn.
Herbert Sutcliffe and Percy Holmes
Are honoured in Wisden’s tomes
For the day they won the toss
And made 555 without loss.
Herbert took his game
To international fame,
Showing the Aussies no mercy.
But no one remembers Percy.
Inflicted bounce-balls upon us
Not to mention the more-than-once
But he won Wimbledon in ’74 and ’82 An amazing gap, it’s true:
He was arrogant, brilliant, sulky, stormy.
What’s more, he was born the day before me.
The Aussies’ shout:
Staunch stayput Stuart
Was caught first slip, and knew it.
But ‘Leave it to the ump,’
He said. ‘He’s no chump.’
Although Jessica Ennis
Might struggle at tennis,
Can she hurdle the net?
So against Andy Murray
She’s no need to worry:
For the long, lanky Scot
Could score a try,
Hit a ton,
Skate, jump, run.
Sport has never
Known a sounder
No. 2827: Dear Santa
You are invited to submit a Christmas list, in verse, in the style of the poet of your choice (16 lines maximum). Please email entries, where possible, to email@example.com by midday on 2 December. Please note the earlier-than-usual deadline, which is because of our seasonal production schedule.
You might disagree with half of it, but you’ll enjoy reading all of it. Try your first 10 weeks for just $10