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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: October ::
Re: Titus Double Dactyl
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1944  Tuesday, 17 October 2000.

[1]     From:   Fran Teague <
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        Date:   Friday, 13 Oct 2000 10:15:16 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1942 Re: Titus Double Dactyl

[2]     From:   David Evett <
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        Date:   Friday, 13 Oct 2000 13:54:29 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1942 Re: Titus Double Dactyl

[3]     From:   David Evett <
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        Date:   Friday, 13 Oct 2000 14:34:46 -0400
        Subj:   Double dactyls


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Fran Teague <
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Date:           Friday, 13 Oct 2000 10:15:16 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 11.1942 Re: Titus Double Dactyl
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1942 Re: Titus Double Dactyl

The rules for a double dactyle are these:

A light verse form with two quatrains.  The last line of the first
quatrain and the last line of the second quatrain rhyme; each is a
single dactylic foot.  The other lines are d. d., i.e., two dactylic
feet.  The first line of the poem is a nonsense phrase, usually
"Higgledy piggledy"; the second line is a proper name; the second line
of the second quatrain is usually a single word.

So the really fine verse Dale sent in is a double dactyl except that it
lacks the single-word line. The form is a recent invention: P. Pascal
and A. Hecht invented d.d. in the early 1950's; in the 1960's Hecht and
J.  Hollander pubd. the first collection.

Fran Teague <http://www.arches.uga.edu/~fteague>

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Evett <
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Date:           Friday, 13 Oct 2000 13:54:29 -0400
Subject: 11.1942 Re: Titus Double Dactyl
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1942 Re: Titus Double Dactyl

Dale Lyles' Titus poem is missing some elements; the form customarily
has eight lines in two stanzas, each containing three lines of regular
dactylic dimeter and one of catalectic dactylic dimeter (dropping the
last two unstressed syllables): "Went to my head."  The last lines of
the quatrains rhyme.  The first line uses nonsense syllables to set the
meter: "Higgledy-piggledy."  One of the lines must consist of a single
proper name, like Titus Andronicus, and one of a single double dactylic
word, such as "antediluvian."  Ideally the name and the long word ought
not be in the same stanza, but exceptions are allowed.

    Hobbledy-gobbledy,
    Titus Andronicus
    paterfamilially
    chopped off his hand.

    "I serve the state," he said.
    "Oh.  The state cheated me?
    I can still bake with one.
    Isn't death grand?"

Double dactylically,
Dave Evett

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Evett <
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Date:           Friday, 13 Oct 2000 14:34:46 -0400
Subject:        Double dactyls

Further on double dactyls--there is a splendid collection on classical
topics (both names and polysyllables apparently easier to come by if you
have a good hold on Latin and Greek) at

 http://www.txclassics.org/exrpts7.htm

compiled and edited by the very funny Douglass Parker (some of you may
know his delightful translation of *Lysistrata*.)

Dave E
 

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