Tuesday, February 21, 2006

A Challenge

I’ve hardly been able to string two thoughts together over the past few days, let alone anything so complex as an entire paragraph. There isn’t any reason for this. It just happens every so often and I’ve learned not to worry about it. I’ve tried to write poems and have got nowhere.

Then I found a challenge to write a “double dactylic” poem (thanks to Helena Nelson for the idea) and I tried one. But I couldn’t even do that!
I’ll try again tomorrow, but here are the rules if any of you feel like having a go. On a good day, I expect it’s possible to write one every ten minutes or so:

First line is nonsense (Higgledy Piggledy or something similar)
Second line is a double dactylic name (e.g. Anna Karenina.)
Total poem has two four-line stanzas.
Second line of second stanza (if you can manage it) is a single double-dactyl word.

A fairly well known one, as an example, is Wendy Cope on Emily Dickinson.

Higgledy piggledy
Emily Dickinson
Liked to use dashes
Instead of full stops.

Nowadays faced with such
Idiosyncrasy
Critics and editors
Send for the cops.

3 comments:

Julie Carter said...

I write the world's worst double dactyls. I'll have to compose a new one just to prove my incompetence is unfettered by time!

Larry said...

What's it called when someone is incapable of passing by a poetry challenge however ridiculous it is?

*

Wizzerwith, Wazzerwith,
Jesus of Nazereth
signposted God
but the Jews weren't game.

Pilate called bluff, till he
counterproductively
hauled in the hardware
and nailed Him to fame.

Rob Mackenzie said...

Julie - I'm looking forward to reading it.

Larry - that's excellent. In fact, that's well publishable.