Ludwig van Beethoven Clerihew

Ludwig van Beethoven –
Had a temper hotter than an oven –
His music fuelled the fire of life
And torched its angers and strifes

06.24.95 – 07.03.95



Copyright by Minh Tan on listed dated of completion
and published in Perspectives, ISBN 0-9686250-0-2.



Notes to this poem…

With clerihews, you have to rhyme and make a character statement about the subject in four lines. Actually, three, cause the first line is the subject’s name. When it’s something like Beethoven, you might have to get a little desperate for a rhyme, but that’s what got me started on this poem. Something triggered me thinking on a hot oven and how I came to connect that with the hot temper of Beethoven, I’m not sure. Maybe I was listening to Beethoven while cooking something? Cooking, not baking. I don’t bake. I can’t handle the details and patience and waste of time waiting and watching for things to happen.

Regardless, whatever made me connect the rhyme of an oven with Beethoven and his hot temper, it started the first rhyme of this poem. The rest wasn’t hard. In fact, I got lazy to write about Beethoven and life, not because it wasn’t definitive about him, but because I had written my first poem I kept about Beethoven and how he dealt with life, Beethoven and His Fifth Symphony. In summarizing how I thought Beethoven handled life in two lines after the first couplet, the rest felt like a little summary of that first poem… kind of like squeezing out a second little poem from the first. But seriously, how Beethoven handled living and life and what Fate handed him is pretty much all I ever think about when I think of Beethoven, other than his music, which is often just a story telling just that in a universal language other than one with words.


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