Author’s note: This clerihew was first published in Bikwil magazine.
If Savinien de Cyrano de Bergerac were alive today, he’d be very old.
Also, he’d be peeved that the fictional version of himself — as depicted by Edmond Rostand (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyrano_de_Bergerac_(play)) — is so much better known that the real person on which the character is based. The real Cyrano (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyrano_de_Bergerac) was a soldier, duellist, playwright, poet and novelist — as in Rostand’s play — but the main plot of the play, where Cyrano’s love for the fair Roxane leads him to help a rival win her heart, is fiction.
According to the Authors’ Calendar (http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/bergerac.htm), Cyrano is sometimes credited with having written some of the earliest science fiction novels, including Voyage Dans La Lune (1657) and L’Histoire Des États et Empires Du Soleil (1662). The character of Cyrano appears in a number of science fiction novels by more modern authors, including Glory Road by Robert Heinlein, where a simulacrum of the famous duellist engages the hero of the novel in a fight to the death.
Whichever version of Cyrano you prefer, I’m sure that the word Cyrano utters in the clerihew would be in French — and I reckon you might be able to guess what the word is.