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A few tips on writing double dactyls

1) Be prepared to wander around with "higgeldy piggeldy" type gibberish in your head for quite a few days

2) Prior to starting, come up with a subject or theme for the poem. That is, decide on a basic idea for the poem. Don't imbue too many expectations yet, though, because you really need a one-word double dactyl for use in the second stanza of the poem.

3) Now that you've got your idea, start free-thinking about single-word double dactyls. (And, you can cheat -- as in a poem about William the Conqueror, where the author used "Normanmaniacal" -- a made-up, yet understandable word.)

For example, say you wanted to write a double dactyl about cooking. You'll have to come up with a single-word double dactyl eventually. I say, do it first -- that way, you'll have a better idea where the poem might be headed. Options, even, if you come up with several possibilities. If the only double dactyl you come up with is something like "super-reliable," you might want to slant the poem toward the merits of a certain recipe or stove or piece of cookware. That item would then be described in the second line of your poem. The first must be nonsense. (BTW, I'm freewriting here, so don't have high expectations for the result):

Nonsense: Clangety, clattery
Subject: where is my frying pan
Description: I need the one with the
handle that's broke

Start of stanza 2: None of the others are
one-word dd: Super-reliable
They will all ruin my
rhyme w/line 4: fried artichoke

Okay, not a spectacular try. So shoot me. If I hadn't had a single-word double dactyl to shoot for in stanza two, however, I might have gone off about a person doing the cooking, then found myself completely flummoxed and having to start over when I hit the required one-worder. Just my two cents.

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