Poetic Forms: 9. Double Dactyl

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9. Double Dactyl

The double dactyl is a rigid, humerous form, and very much based on its meter. It is also more fun than you can possibly imagine until you start writing them.

First of all – don’t panic.

A dactyl is a stressed syllable, followed by two unstressed syllables. | – – And a double dactyl is two dactyls in a row.

If that doesn’t help you get in touch with the rhythm, think of it this way – this poem is often called a “higgledy piggeldy”. Got it now? Good!

The double dactyl is about someone – someone whose name (or some version of their name including their title, etc.) is a perfect double dactyl, and that is where you start. (think Eleanor Roosevelt – or - Gilbert and Sullivan)

Then you make up a little story or morality play. Or just work your way to a smart aleck-ey remark.

Finding a name can be the hardest part in the real world, but in middle earth, there are lots of lovely elves and big strong boys from Gondor with dactylic names just waiting to be made the butt of your jokes. (Gildor Inglorion – or - Turin and Anglachel)

The first line is two dactyls that are nonsense words and rhyme with each other – like higgledy piggeldy or hickory dickory or whatever works for your person
The double dactyl is a rigid, humorous form, based on its meter.


A dactyl is a stressed syllable, followed by two unstressed syllables. | – – And a double dactyl is two dactyls in a row.

The double dactyl is about someone – someone whose name (or some version of their name, their title, etc.) is a perfect double dactyl. (think Eleanor Roosevelt – or - Gilbert and Sullivan)

Then you make up a little story or morality play. Or just work your way to a smart aleck-ey remark.

Finding a name can be the hardest part in the real world, but in middle earth, there are lots of lovely elves and big strong boys from Gondor with dactylic names just waiting to be made the butt of your jokes. (Gildor Inglorion – or - Turin and Anglachel)

The first line is two dactyls that are nonsense words and rhyme with each other – like higgledy piggeldy or hickory dickory or whatever works for your person

Here is the strict layout:

1 two dactyls that rhyme with each other
2 A name that is a double dactyl
3 that's right – 2 more dactyls. They still don’t have to rhyme with anything
4 one more dactyl – and then an extra stressed syllable

5 two more dactyls
6 (strictly) a single word that is a double dactyl (or 2 more dactyls)
7 two more, keep going
8 one last dactyl, and one extra syllable – and this line rhymes with line 4

*****

Florin McCain:

Higgeldy Piggeldy
Marion Morrison’s
sissified monicker
gave him a pain

Transformed by Hollywood
Cinematography
Now he is famous as
Tough guy John Wayne

This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.

Story Information

Author: fileg

Status: General

Completion: Work in Progress

Era: Other

Genre: Research Article

Rating: General

Last Updated: 02/01/04

Original Post: 06/12/03

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