A metrical foot consisting of an accented syllable followed by two unaccented ones / ' ~ ~ /. Examples of dactylic words are "comedy" and "higgledy," and of largely dactylic poems Tennyson's "The Charge of the Light Brigade" and Thomas Hood's "The Bridge of Sighs." Longfellow's Evangeline is written in dactylic hexameter, the metre of Homer and of Ovid's Metamorphoses.
A medieval poem in dialogue that takes the form of a debate on a topic. An example is The Owl and the Nightingale.
Words that point to particulars, as names and pronouns do for individual places and persons (such as Edwin Arlington Robinson's "Miniver Cheevy" and "Richard Cory"), and demonstrative-adjective-noun combinations (such as Benjamin Franklin King's "Here's that ten dollars that I owe" in "If I Should Die To-night") do for things.
What a word points to, names, or refers to, either in the world of things or in the mind.
Poems that exist so as to teach the readers something, often a moral.
Cacaphony, or harsh-sounding language.
Two lines related to one another. A major Greek and Latin metre is the elegiac distich, a pair of dactylic hexameter and dactylic pentameter lines.
A stanza or poem of ten lines.
Bad verse, characterized by clichés, incomprehensibility, and an irregular metre.
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,
Bacon, lord Chancellor,
Negligent, fell for the
Bribery toppled him,
Finished him, testing some
Poultry on ice.
A poem representing itself as a speech made by one person to a silent listener, usually not the reader. Examples include Robert Browning's "My Last Duchess," Alfred Lord Tennyson's "Ulysses," and T. S. Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock." A lyric may also be addressed to someone, but it is short and song-like and may appear to address either the reader or the poet.
A two-syllable foot.