Then Chesterton Was Done
Last thoughts on the topic upon waking up:
Hopefully these dregs will empty the cup.
Edmund Clerihew Bentley invented a poetic form known as the clerihew. He was a schoolfriend of G.K. Chesterton, with whom, apparently, he shared a taste for nonsense verse. The form is irregular—AABB in rhyme scheme—and, as much of this type of thing, intended to be a bit irreverent (if not irrelevant). The first line consists of the name of a famous person, so for example Marcus Bales (if not famous at least notorious enough now and again in online forums).
Has his fails,
But very few
When he attempts the clerihew.
Now, "has his fails" is the kind of line I would rather avoid, not comfortable with the current rage of substituting verbs for nouns ("fail" instead of "failure")—but it has always seemed to me that in this type of format "anything goes." (When you give the issue a good visitation, I suppose this transformation has some kind of history in English, but who is to say in any given case how long it will last?)
So, (something in line with what Edmund WIlson would have said as per my last post,)
For a few days.
Of course available nonsense forms rank in complexity from the very simple, as above, to the more demanding. Limericks or "double dactyls" are harder to turn.
Orthodox for the phlox
Gilbert K. Chesterton
Went to the rest-au-ran'
Turned his composure the
Sternest of stuff.
This "DD" is not quite a perfect one: the first line is supposed to be a pure nonsense phrase—but after you've seen enough of them you find they repeat. The second stanza must contain a single (appropriately measured) word for one line: in this case a made-up word is not strictly appropriate, though, as it came out of a waking dream, who am I to question it?
As a boy I did one which later on embarassed me to the extent where I disposed of every known copy of it—but such is the nature of the beast that things like this stick in your craw and I remembered it even after all these years.
Getting from Higginson
"Words with a definite
Structured in rhythm"—now
Isn't that nice!
I destroyed it because it wasn't fair to the great man Emily Dickinson's preceptor. As it seems to demand a life of its own, I may hope that his spirit forgives me.
Never expected thus
To be remembered--
Kindled fame's bonfire not
Kept his pyre embered...
This is perhaps a little too tortuous and abstruse, but at least it fits the occasion.