Sunday, 9 April 2017

Ignorance - a Constant Source of Embarrassment

13:08:00 Posted by Jill Reidy Red Snapper Photography , , No comments
The older I get, the more I realise, with quiet despair, how many things have passed me by in  life. 



I thought I was a woman of the world. I've travelled a bit, I speak another language (not very well, but enough to get by), I'm quite well read, educated to degree level, interested in art and poetry and writing and I've had three children toboot. 

So why, as I enter my sixty sixth year, am I sat here, on a sunny afternoon when I shouldn't have a care in the world, frantically googling the word, 'clerihews'? 

For anybody as ignorant as I am, here's the definition taken from Wikipedia:

clerihew (pronunciation: /ˈklɛrᵻhjuː/) is a whimsical, four-line biographical poem invented by Edmund Clerihew Bentley. The first line is the name of the poem's subject, usually a famous person put in an absurd light, or revealing something unknown and/or spurious about them. The rhyme scheme is AABB, and the rhymes are often forced. The line length and metre are irregular. Bentley invented the clerihew in school and then popularized it in books. One of his best known is this (1905):

Sir Christopher Wren
Said, "I am going to dine with some men.
If anyone calls
Say I am designing St. Paul's."

Now, I don't know about you, but in the words of a well known song, 'That don't impress me much.'  I think if one of my year 6 pupils had presented me with that I'd have told them (in the nicest possible way, of course) to go back, have another look and see if they could improve on it at all. 

Maybe I'm missing something here and clerihews are hugely important to literature experts. Perhaps dear Edmund Clerihew Bentley was the Tracy Emin of the poetry world. Who knows? Certainly not I, in my ignorant little bubble. 

Do I feel I've missed out in my ignorance of clerihews? Nope. Has a lack of clerihews in my life held me back? Nope.  Will I need clerihews in the future?  I doubt it.  Am I glad I now know what a clerihew is?  Of course!  Knowledge is power (although I'm not sure this latest piece of knowledge will be massively empowering).  

I am genuinely thirsty for knowledge and for learning new things.  Today I have learnt what a clerihew is, and I'm sure that will stand me in good stead.  I shall attempt to squeeze the word into every conversation possible, whilst scrutinising the faces of the people I'm talking to, searching for puzzlement to match mine before today.  

Now I just have to write one.

Ignorance by Jill Reidy  

I was a Dead Good Poet
I just didn't know it
Ignorance of Clerihews
Really isn't merry news


Maybe it's not as easy as I thought....


Thanks for reading.........Jill
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