Concept

Double dactyl

Summary
The double dactyl is a verse form invented by Anthony Hecht and Paul Pascal in 1951. Form Like the limerick, the double dactyl has a fixed structure, is usually humorous, and is rigid in its prosodic structure. The double dactyl's prosodic requirements are more strenuous due to its increased length, and its specific requirements as to subject matter and word choice much more rigid, making it significantly more difficult to write. There must be two stanzas, each comprising three lines of dactylic dimeter ( ¯ ˘ ˘ ¯ ˘ ˘ ) followed by a line consisting of just a choriamb ( ¯ ˘ ˘ ¯ ). The last lines of these two stanzas must rhyme. Further, the first line of the first stanza is repetitive nonsense, and the second line of the first stanza is the subject of the poem, which in the purest instances of the form is a double-dactylic proper noun. (Hecht and other poets sometimes bent or ignored this rule, as in the Robison p
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