Archive for Double Dactyls

ss: Toffee or Key?

Piggledy-higgledy, William A. Spooner was known for his penchant for mixing things up. When hungry, the Reverend ate mobster in lint sauce; when thirsty, he drank from an old cuter pup. —JEH Reverend William A. Spooner was at one time the Dean of New College, Oxford. He occasionally mixed up words, or parts of words, […]

s: Beware of Greeks Bearing Poems

Recall from column d that a double dactyl is a poem of roughly this form: Higgledy Piggledy First name and last name here, Then something clever on What he/she did. Stanza two uses a Hexasyllabicword; Finish it up with a Topper or lid. —JEH The word "dactyl" derives from the Greek word meaning "finger" (as […]

d: Everything Higgledy-Piggledy (Reader Comments)

Dominus, who can usually be counted upon to provide a comment, wrote: Higgledy-Piggledy isn't his favorite— too many syllables, not enough length. Mark-Jason Dominus can't do them anyway; metric analysis isn't his strength. —Mark-Jason Dominus Ranjit Bhatnagar wrote to say: "I once tried to combine the venerable Higgledy-Piggledy form with the equally well-respected Ten-Word Story, […]

d: Everything Higgledy-Piggledy

I've long had a fondness for certain poetic forms oft-derided as doggerel. One of my favorite such forms is the Double Dactyl, also known as the Higgledy Piggledy. A dactyl is a poetic foot which consists of a stressed syllable followed by two unstressed syllables. Words like "turpitude," "menopause," and "aspirin" are dactylic—their stress pattern […]