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Brief Candles: 101 Clerihews 1st. Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0807125649
ISBN-10: 0807125644
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The excellent but painstaking Taylor customarily publishes one collection per decade. So what is this book doing, coming out only four years after Understanding Fiction? Having fun, that's what. Each poem in it is an example of a four-line light verse form invented by British writer E. C. Bentley and labeled with his middle name. A clerihew's first line ends with a person's name; its second line rhymes, often outrageously, with the name; and the succeeding lines also rhyme. Taylor's clerihews play with the monickers of the British poets laureate, the current U.S. Supreme Court justices, suicidal poets, the original Christian disciples, literary critics and reviewers, and principal players in the Clinton sex scandals. A clerihew's second couplet supposedly delivers a joke, but often the funniest thing in one is its first rhyme. If "Harold Bloom /. . . crack of doom," "Judas Iscariot / missed the sweet chariot," and "Robert Southey / . . . azimuth. He" prove amusing, reading the whole book should be all smiles. Ray Olson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Henry Taylor, author of four previous poetry collections, received the Pulitzer Prize in 1986 for his third book of poems, The Flying Change. He is professor of literature and codirector of the MFA program in creative writing at American University.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: LSU Press; 1st. edition (March 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807125644
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807125649
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.2 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,568,716 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By David Proctor on September 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Henry Taylor was my poetry teacher at the University of Utah many years ago, so take that into account. He is a brilliant poet, and to see him tackle the clerihew is thoroughly enjoyable. It is a whimsical form, but he executes it at a high level. After reading this book, I wrote one for him:

Henry Taylor
Has not had a failure
In his writing life, which includes
His recent adventure in clerihews
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Format: Paperback
The poet admits "brief." So these candles are. But each extinguished by thumb and index moistened by an expert tongue. How I wish that the average poem in the Atlantic Monthly could offer the wit and verve and originality of the average line in this enjoyable collection.
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