Book review on The Lost Clerihews of Paul Ingram from the San Francisco Book Review.
Clerihews are an odd form of poetry invented by Edmund Clerihew Bentley during the early 20th century. Basically, they are biographical in nature and are used to poke fun at a person, usually people with some celebrity. They have a firm rhyme pattern of AABB, although meter is inconsistent. The first line is the name of the subject or at least contains the name of the subject. Then let the mocking begin. Some say it should be a parody of a eulogy. Beyond that, clerihews are whimsical, silly, or even sarcastic. Some in this collection are, ahem, a wee bit off color. And, it seems, no one is beyond the reach of Paul Ingram. When reading this slim little volume, one will find everyone from Helen Keller to Jeff Bezos, from Glenn Beck to Elmer Fudd, from Euripides to Lady Gaga, from Jesus to Alice B. Toklas. Each of these irreverent little verses is accompanied by a very pointed, exceptionally relevant line drawing by Julia Anderson-Miller. This is a fine collection of ridiculously clever poems for those who are well-read and politically astute, and will be particularly well received by those who are politically left of center.