Photo by Jørgen Håland on Unsplash


Thanks to Marcie Flinchum Atkins, I have fallen in under the spell of the double dactyl. As Marcie referenced in her recent blog post, the double dactyl was popularized in the 1960’s in the publication Esquire magazine and later in the collection Jiggery-Pokery: A Compendium of Double Dactyls, edited by Anthony Hecht and John Hollander.

Double Dactyl Form Rules:

  • 2 stanzas of dactylic verse, usually with a silly tone
  • Stanza 1:
    • line 1 – a jingle or "spell," in the meter /uu/uu   (DUM-da-da   DUM-da-da)
    • line 2 – a name, in the meter /uu/uu
    • line 3 – information about the person, in the meter /uu/uu
    • line 4 – meter /uu/       (DUM-da-da-DUM)
  • Stanza 2:
    • line 5 – meter /uu/uu
    • line 6 – meter /uu/uu
    • line 7 – meter /uu/uu
    • line 8 – meter /uu/ and must rhyme with line 4

where "u" is an unstressed beat/syllable, and "/" is a stressed syllable, so the meter has a DUM-da-da DUM-da-da rhythm.  DUM-da-da is called a "dactyl," so doubling gives the term "double dactyl."  

So here goes …


Booboo Baboingity


Springity sproingity,

Booboo Baboingity

Sprang from a bridge with a

Leap and a prayer.


Bungee cord snapped in two.

Last thing I heard was Boo

Yelling out something -- I

think was a swear.


Hmmm.  Maybe I had better keep practicing.


Happy Poetry Friday!  This week, be sure to stop by and visit Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink for all things poetic!


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