Thursday, 13 April 2017

Clerihews - don't lose your head!

Ah the clerihew.  I had a brief encounter on an OCNW 'B' Unit course in creative writing in 2007. For one poetry assignment in poetic form,  I applied my small brain to the task of writing clerihews and because I also have a love of medieval history, decided to write a series.  Form poetry can be challenging and fun.

When it comes to the romantic exploits of Henry VIII, the basic memory trigger 'Divorced, Beheaded, Died, Divorced, Beheaded, Survived', that has probably been indelibly etched on your brain since school days,  may not be sufficient information for immediate recall of the nature of such turbulent marriages. I hope that my clerihew series is enlightening, slightly amusing and useful to anyone who thinks that serial monogamy is the only way to fly. 

Take care though, a trip with United Airlines can be just as unpredictable.  At least passenger, 'unlucky number three', only got a thick lip and no doubt, a very good lawyer. These six, charming ladies had a far bumpier and more precarious ride: Two of them 'bumped off', one lost in transit and two others treated like baggage.  Here they all are, with my exhumed tribute.   




The Six Clerihews of Henry VIII

Queen Katherine of Aragon,
failed to bear her King a son.
Rome said no to his plea for divorce,
setting the church on a separate course. 

Vain, dark beauty Anne Boleyn,
accused of committing a deadly sin,
Inevitably she lost her head, 
for sleeping in another’s bed.

Best beloved, Jane Seymour,
Henry  was said to love, to adore.
All England shared in their joy
Sadly she died giving birth to a boy

King Henry’s next was Anne of Cleves,
hailed a political trick up his sleeves.
When she arrived, she was ugly as hell,
and very soon, Henry divorced her as well.

Young and carefree, Catherine Howard,
soon was branded a traitorous coward.
The terrible  scandal made Henry see red.
He stated, “Off with that strumpet's head.”

Lovely widow Katherine Parr,
most homely wife by far, 
loyal to the day that Henry died,
of six, the only marriage that survived.



Thanks for reading. Adele  

 
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1 comments:

Steve Rowland said...

Thank you Adele. These are great fun and well worth exhuming.

I've always felt a bit sorry for Anne of Cleves, nick-named the Flanders mare. It was a dodgy dynastic marriage. Maybe she tumbled to the fact that Henry VIII wasn't quite the stallion he was reputed to be?