Author Archives: DC

Dory Previn

Dory Previn (née Dorothy Langan), lyricist, singer-songwriter and poet, was born on 22 October 1925 and died on 14 February 2012. According to Wikipedia: During the late 1950s and 1960s she was a lyricist on songs intended for motion pictures … Continue reading

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Swift Justice

I’ve been reading a biography of the collaboration and rivalry of Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff, the two most prominent stars of horror movies in the 1930s and 1940s. Their first collaborative effort was in the movie The Black Cat … Continue reading

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Esprit de Bain

You know the phrase “esprit de l’escalier”? Literally it means “spirit of the staircase” or “staircase wit”. It was coined by the French philosopher Denis Diderot to describe the situation when you discover the perfect reply only after you have … Continue reading

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By George!

Every day, the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography sends me an e-mail containing an entry from the Dictionary. Recently I received the entry about Phyllis Dixey (1914-1964), the English striptease artiste. After making her start in the chorus line, Phyllis … Continue reading

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Johann Wolfgang von Goethe — Sausage Dog?

Author’s note: As a child I did not know how to pronounce the surname of the German polymath Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. If you have the same problem, it sounds something like “GUR-tuh” — which may not be important in … Continue reading

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Tea With Jane Austen

The event obliquely referred to in this clerihew actually occurred even before the author Jane Austen was born, but the two events share an interesting coincidence: the Boston Tea Party took place on December 16, 1773; and Jane Austen was … Continue reading

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Ernest Hemingway and Virginia Woolf

I think I should apologise for this clerihew in advance. Here’s one definition of the clerihew verse form: a whimsical, four-line biographical poem. The first line is the name of the poem’s subject, usually a famous person put in an … Continue reading

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