A form of light verse invented by Anthony Hecht and John Hollander. The double dactyl consists of two quatrains, each with three double-dactyl lines ( / _ _ / _ _ ) followed by a shorter dactyl-spondee pair (/_ _ /). The two spondees rhyme. Other rules of this "dismally difficult / Form" are that the first line must be a nonsense phrase, the second line a proper or place name, and one other line, usually the sixth, a single double-dactylic word that has never been used before in a double dactyl. For example,

Higgleby piggledy,
Bacon, lord Chancellor,
Negligent, fell for the
Paltrier vice.

Bribery toppled him,
Bronchopneumonia
Finished him, testing some
Poultry on ice.

(I.L.)

There is currently no content classified with this term.

Subscribe to RSS - Double dactyl