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Double dactylic

2 December 2017

9:00 AM

2 December 2017

9:00 AM

In Competition No. 3026 you were invited to submit topical double dactyls.
The double dactyl was dreamed up in 1951 by the poet Anthony Hecht and the classical scholar Paul Pascal. My well-thumbed copy of Jiggery-Pokery, a wonderful 1967 compendium of the form edited by Hecht and the poet John Hollander, reveals with pride that Auden (to whom the book is dedicated) used the form ‘thrice’ for the choruses in his Aesopian playlets Moralities.
Double dactyls always go down well, and this comp elicited an entertaining parade of double dactylic notables — and pursuits egomaniacal, unoligarchical, prosecutorial, heterosexual, philoprogenitive…
The winners earn £15 each.

Michel B. Barnier,
Consummate bureaucrat,
Raises the price,
Crushing the will of our
Flummoxed and browbeaten
Held in his vice.
Hugh King
Higgledy piggledy
Pastuso Paddington
gets himself banged up in
Pentonville gaol.
Even the lairiest
joins in the whip-round for
Paddington’s bail.
Nick MacKinnon
Manchester’s Morrissey
Goes back to crooning, his
Novel a fail.
Hoping his audience,
Still want to hear a man
Tunelessly wail.
Adrian Fry
Anthony Joshua
Heavyweight champion
Top of the pile;
Talks of his legacy
Nemesis listens and
Smiles a slow smile.
W.J. Webster
Benedict Cumberbatch,
Won’t you indulge in a
Three-in-bed romp?
While you’re behaving so
I have got nothing to
Mock in this comp.
George Simmers
Yummily, mummily,
Catherine Middleton’s
Pregnant again to the
Rapture of Wills.
I’d be as lavishly
If I could stretch to the
Nursery bills.
Rob Stuart
Emily Thornberry,
Feminist lawyer and
Labour MP,
Speaks with a manner quite
Save when men style her as
Lady Nugee.
Joseph Conlon
Taxily, maxily,
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Gave the inheritance
Levy a hitch.
Trump says ‘Repeal it! Our
Future depends on my
Kids staying rich!’
Rob Hirst
Limberly, Kimberly,
Khloé Kardashian,
Kourtney, and Robbie seem
Destined for Fame’s
Roster, since they all have
Speaking) stupendously
Talented names.
Frank Osen
Higgledy piggledy,
Ludwig van Beethoven,
if he could glimpse what our
world has become,
likely would find a new
for his immortal phrase:
dum dum dum DUM!
Robert Schechter
George Papadopoulos,
‘Fetcher of coffee’ the
Trumpists have said,
Met with the Russians, so
Maybe Trump sent him for
Vodka instead.
Max Gutmann


No. 3029: best foot forward

You are invited to provide a new year’s resolution (or more than one, if you like) in verse. Please email entries of up to 16 lines to by midday on 27 December.

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