"{A} humorous pseudo-biographical quatrain, rhymed as two couplets, with line of uneven length more or less in the rhythm of prose"
--Frances Stillman The Poet's Manual and Rhyming Dictionary

The story is that 16 year old Edmund Clerihew Bentley was sitting in chemistry class, and feeling somewhat bored, when inspiration struck.

Sir Humphrey Davy
Abominated gravy.
He lived in the odium
Of having discovered sodium.

He went on to write at least three collections of clerihews. (1905, 1929, & 1939)

The meaning of the poet Gay
Was always as clear as day,
While that of the poet Blake
Was often practically opaque.

I doubt if King John
Was a sine qua non.
I could rather imagine it
Of any other Plantagenet.

Edgar Allan Poe
Was passionately fond of roe.
He always liked to chew some
When writing anything gruesome.

And one more, this one by his son.

Cecil B. De Mille,
Rather against his will,
Was persuaded to leave Moses
Out of 'The Wars of the Roses'.