Newly Published
Mind to Mind  |   May 2019
Clerihews for Chloroform
Author Notes
  • From the Department of Anesthesiology, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina. rroy@wakehealth.edu
  • Accepted for publication March 26, 2019.
    Accepted for publication March 26, 2019.×
Article Information
Mind to Mind
Mind to Mind   |   May 2019
Clerihews for Chloroform
Anesthesiology Newly Published on May 8, 2019. doi:10.1097/ALN.0000000000002760
Anesthesiology Newly Published on May 8, 2019. doi:10.1097/ALN.0000000000002760
A Clerihew is a four-line comic poem with a rigid rhyming scheme, aabb, but no metric requirements. This poetic form was invented by E. C. (Edmund Clerihew) Bentley (1875–1956), British humorist and author. Bentley’s Clerihews always began with the name of a famous person or character to create a rhyming challenge. The remaining three lines “roasted” the figure, sometimes in a historical context. If Bentley hoped he was inventing a poetic form to replace the limerick, he was unsuccessful, since most anesthesiologists have never heard of a Clerihew. I became aware of them when I was loaned a delightful book entitled The Lost Clerihews of Paul Ingram.1  Below are six Clerihews that I composed about individuals who played a significant role in the early history of chloroform anesthesia. With each is a reference pertinent to the Clerihew so that this collection could serve as a basis for an anesthesia history journal club.