NOTE: A clerihew is a four-line poetic format invented in 1905 by Edmund Clerihew Bentley, who wrote humorous rhymes about all manner of persons, making frivolous fun of their names. Because Bentley rarely chose scientists as subjects, the author and illustrator seek to fill that gap.
This article was originally published with the title "Picture a Clerihew" in Scientific American 324, 4, 20 (April 2021)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
William B. Ashworth
William B. Ashworth, Jr., is a consultant for the history of science at Linda Hall Library in Kansas City, Mo. He writes a daily Scientist of the Day post for that library, in which clerihews such as these first appeared.
Credit: Nick Higgins
Melissa Dehner is a graphic designer at Linda Hall Library and a freelance illustrator.