Tuesday Clerihew


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Wayne Shaw,

it doubtless sticks in your craw

that you’ve had to say goodbye

and slowly digest some humble pie.


(Image from TreasuryIsland children’s literature blog.

I could not see an acknowledgement of where the drawing

originated.  I will acknowledge its origin if anyone knows

the copyright situation.)

Saturday Clerihew




(Image: Paul Nuttall

UKIP Leader

flickr.com/photos 33119465

Author: Euro Realist Newsletter)

Paul Nuttall,

it’s all very well offering us a rebuttal.

Okay, someone committed a ‘blunder,’

but the implication you have close friends at all is a greater source of wonder.

Cor Cordium Post 2


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For introduction, see previous post.


(Photo: by Ballista at English Wikipedia, May 2006)



(a monologue, as spoken by Mary Shelley…)


I remember he called me his veiled maid

and said I had a voice like his own soul.

Up what he termed the watery staircases,

we rose, emerging under a humped bridge.

Ostensibly, we sought the Isis source,

but were we really looking for the fount

of Inspiration… Imagination?


All the while, like Narcissus, he just stared;

reflected on the depths, till weeds choked us,

at Inglesham.  We lodged at The New Inn.

Peacock encouraged us to eat some chops.

Thus fortified, we strolled before the curfew,

through the ancient churchyard, which seemed to rouse

the Muse in him, for he became withdrawn

and it was only his echoing cough

which disturbed our tranquility.  The spire

pointed heavenward, as if to raise heads

cast down by the dejection of their pasts.

I thought of Clara- and mother also-

and dwelt awhile on my estranged father.

Well, Wordsworth was quite right- the good die first.


What strange visions and dreams I’d had before:

my babe resurrected, but then more deaths.

Suicides ensued.  Yet on that still night,

we watched the moon; heard the Angelus

and felt a kind of divine Immanence.


I wanted to drift forever on streams;

to exorcise my deep melancholy.

Harriet had threatened to prosecute:

she made his ‘atheism’ a pretext,

citing elopement and abandonment.

But he ws only in love with loving:

like Augustine, he was not yet in love,

though he claimed to reject Beauty, Nature,

seeking to find all truth in a woman.

All that free love was, at times, fatiguing.


Why did I always have to share his love?

He even shared his father’s allowance.

We never made it to The Falls of Clyde,

for he could not produce the Severn fee

and Charles and Peacock  could not contribute.


So, while he spoke of Lycidas and death,

I felt that I was drowning in sorrows.

Suddenly his ‘airy scheme’ seemed grounded.

I longed to return to Windsor Great Park,

but the gargoyles seemed to mock my desires.

So, what was I left with?


I edit work

and open the pages of ‘Adonais’,

gazing at that once strongly beating heart;

mummified now; wrapped around in white silk.

Is that all that remains of burning love?


No, for even among the crumbling tombs,

verse was produced on that late summer night

and his very heartbeat was metrical.


Now I hold the rhythms of his life- here-

not between the pages, but within them.


Cor Cordium


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(P B S’s gravestone in The Protestant Cemetery, Rome.

28/8/04 Author: carptrash  Einar Einarsson Kvaran

transferred from en wikipaedia)

Cor Cordium‘ was inscribed on Shelley’s grave and means ‘heart of hearts.

Valentine’s Day  seemed an apt time to look into what happened to his

physical heart.

Apparently Mary Shelley kept it wrapped up in white silk and it was

placed between the pages of a book, at her husband’s poem on

Keats: ‘Adonais.‘  It can’t have been the whole organ, so must have been

a sliver which was saved from immolation on the beach at Spezia.

It reminded me of Robert the Bruce’s heart being encased in a lead

casket. It was meant to be taken to The Holy Land, but Douglas failed to

dispose of it there, so it returned to Scotland.

Hearts were often removed and, like Thomas Hardy’s, were buried

separately from the rest of the remains.

It is rather ghoulish to ponder on what Isabella had in her pot of basil,

or what Walter Raleigh’s widow carried around with her in a leather bag.

Yes, sometimes it was a head and not a heart.  People can be weird.

(I don’t know what you have to feed basil, the herb, with, but I never

seem to  have any luck with growing it in a pot.  Isabella seemed to be

quite successful, judging by Holman Hunt’s painting, but I don’t think

Monty Don would prescribe such an extreme compost.)

Anyway, my next dramatic monologue references Mary, in later life,

meditating on their September voyage up the Thames, in the

company of Charles Clairmont and the novelist Thomas Love Peacock.

They failed to reach Cricklade and the source of the river and, in any

case, did not have the £20 to pay the navigation fee for their skiff to

enter The Severn Canal.  So, they stayed two nights in Lechlade and

P B S ( pernicious bowel syndrome- not) wrote a poem in the

churchyard there.

Peacock called the inn ‘comfortable‘ so it would have had a good review

on ‘Tripadvisor,’ had such a site had been in existence.

The day before yesterday I traced the hostelry in which they stayed and

viewed a bedroom which MIGHT have been the one in which they lodged.

Then I walked through the churchyard of St Lawrence’s Church to admire

the snowdrops, which they certainly would not have done, their visit

having been in late summer, 1815.

My poem:

Cor Cordium  (a poem on Valentine’s Day)

see next post…

Dialogue by clerihews


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Since there was some discussion as to what the rules of

a clerihew should be, I consulted my friend, Matthew Francis

on the matter- of course, by clerihew:


talking about the clerihew…

must you only have a name in the first line,

or, is having more than that, in your opinion, fine?

I received this reply:

Candia Dixon-Stuart,

devotees of the clerihew art,

disagree, gently,

on the principles of E. C. Bentley.

So, feeling a sense of liberation, I give you today’s:


(David Beckham in the Royal Box, 28/6/14

by Brian Minkoff- London Pixels)

David Beckham, aka ‘Becks,’

you seemed a model for your sex,

but your alleged obsession to receive a gong,

may taint your after-shave with a lingering pong.

Clerihew 6


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Prince Harry

seems to have decided to marry.

Suits you, sir!‘, though the erstwhile B-lister

resembles a certain Kate Middleton’s sister.

Meghan Markle 3441.jpg

( Image-Flickr.

Author: Genevieve

Modifications by CennoxX

Source DSC_3441)

Clerihew 5


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(Official Portrait of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

https:// beta.gov.scotabout/who-runs-government?

first minister

Author: Scottish Government)

First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon.jpg


Nicola Sturgeon,

you might seem a curmudgeon,

but when it comes to giving flack,

the prize goes to Mhairi Black.

Mhairi Black.jpg

(Image from SNP video. On You Tube &