Sunday, May 14, 2017

Clerihews by Hikaru Kitabayashi

Clerihews by Hikaru Kitabayashi

My name, which is more or less pronounced "he-car-roo-key-tah-buy-yah-she". Since I'm not famous enough to have a clerihew (whether nasty or sweet) written about me, I decided to write a nasty one on the assumption that, should anyone ever make the effort in the future, anything will look sweeter, by comparison.

Hikaru Kitabayashi

Called a female friend a bitch and she,
In anger, famously retorted
He should have been aborted.
8 April 2016 and 30 April 2017

Research I have done with the triolet has convinced me that literary stereotypes are both real and persistent, some capable of lasting for hundreds of years, even though they have no substance from the very beginning. The clerihew, though almost always used for making fun of others in an often whimsical way, should be capable of being used for other purposes. In the following poem I feel I have tried to achieve something completely different, though in form, it remains a genuine clerihew.

In dreams through time she comes, though Helen Baker
Some 30 years ago did meet the great earth-shaker.
The fears return she would away be kissing 
And, even now, my mother's voice I'm missing,
19 October 2016

The following Clerihew takes as its theme my great great grandmother, a woman whom I highly admire for her uncompromising will to be herself and who, born in Alabama to an Irish father and a mother of ultimately Finnish descent, ran off before the American Civil War to marry a man classified as black. She ended her much adventurous life, working as a cook in Illinois.

Always Mahalia was a white,
But in black arms did take delight.
In Illinois she did no dissing
Of Alabama, never missing.
29 April 2017

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