Double-dactylian fun

On 2 December I spotted an interesting moth on our kitchen window pane. Our local moth expert Dr Dave Chesmore confirmed my ID: it was an Emmelina monodactyla.

Emmelina monodactyla

A few days later I was reading a book by James Fenton, one-time Professor of Poetry at Oxford, about different poetry forms (limericks, clerihews and the like) and came across a form I’d never heard of before: the double dactyl.

A dactyl is a metre that goes tum-ti-ti. So a double dactyl goes tum-ti-ti tum-ti-ti. The  2-stanza double-dactyl verse form, Fenton explains,

‘requires that the first line be nonsense words, the second a name, and that a single-word double dactyl appear in the second part.’

This got me thinking … Is it possible, I wondered, to write a double dactyl about our recent moth find, Emmelina monodactyla? And if so, would this be the world’s first monodactylian double dactyl?

I set to work that very evening, and by mid-morning the next day I had created my first – perhaps the first ever – monodactylian double dactyl!

How does it go? Well, you’ll have to come along to a performance of Buzzing! to find out …!

STOP PRESS: Now you can read it for yourself in my Buzzing! book!

Anneliese Emmans Dean –

Bringin Poetry to Life

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