Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-08-2003, 11:51 PM
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: The Bubble
Posts: 1,877
So, tell me about dactylic pentameter

I'd give myself 7-5 odds in favor of me correctly spelling that phrase.

Can anyone tell me how it goes, for example, how many beats per line and how many lines per verse and that kind of thing?

Also, any examples of that in use other than something written by Homer would be much needed.


-Scur the Black.
Considrin' a new screen name along those lines.
Old 09-09-2003, 12:08 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Altered States of America
Posts: 12,531
DA-da-da DA-da-da DA-da-da DA-da-da DA(-da-da).

In classical Greek and Latin meter, a line of dactylic hexameter alternating with a line of dactylic pentameter was called the "elegiac couplet." Here's an example from Ovid:

Arma gravi numero violentaque bella parabam
Edere, materia conveniente modis.
Par erat inferior versus: risisse Cupido
Dicitur atque unum surripuisse pedem.

English version by Dryden:

For mighty wars I thought to tune my lute,
And make my measures to my subject suit.
Six feet for ev'ry verse the muse design'd,
But Cupid laughing, when he saw my mind,
From ev'ry second verse a foot purloin'd.

These lines actually talk about the meter they're written in! (But Dryden's version is iambic pentameter, pay no attention to it, I just cited it for meaning.)
Old 09-09-2003, 12:23 AM
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: 23 male, Boston
Posts: 5,791
I don't know anything about how it actually works, but here's a line I just made up to illustrate it:

Once in a century somebody changes their consciousness.

To me, it sounds more natural if you leave off the last two syllables. I take it from Jomo Mojo's post that that's okay?

Once in a century somebody changes the world.

I'm guessing this is how an "elegiac couplet" would sound....

Humans have struggled with conflict and tyranny, trusting the promise that
Once in a century, somebody changes the world.
Old 09-09-2003, 12:29 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 5,782
Poetry is one of my least favorite subjects, but I can tell you a few things before a real poetry expert shows up.

1. You spelled it correctly.

2. Dactyl is from the Greek for "finger," thus a dactylic foot (odd combination, isn't it?), like your finger, has three parts, with an emphasis on the first: DAH-da-da.

3. Therefore dactyllic pentameter would be poetry in which each line was fifteen syllables, five dactyls:

Dah-da-da, dah-da-da, dah-da-da, dah-da-da, dah-da-da.

Not being a fan of poetry, I can't think of any works in dactylic pentameter.

There is a form called the double dactyl which has an interestingly strict format:

Two verses of four lines, each line is two dactyls.
The last lines of each verse rhyme.
The first line has to be a nonsense term, like higgledy-piggledy.
The second line has to be the name of the subject of the verse.
One line has to be to be a single word.

For instance:

Higgeldy, piggeldy,
Benjamin Harrison
23rd president
Was, and as such,

Served between Clevelands and,
Save for this trivial
Didn't do much.

A google on "double dactyl" will provide plenty of examples.

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:51 AM.

Copyright © 2017
Best Topics: hoofed carnivore prune juice diarrhea my roommate smells mona lisa vito kickstart harley barbershop quartet names trendy expressions dizzy gillespie cheeks strut leaking fluid night owl batman auricle of heart sorcerer vs wizard tuit sweet kevin cosgrove bicurious male sergeant uniforms vh1 stands for lift benches glue in german condensed games jesus drunk cat urine bleach bme urban dictionary benadryl runny nose ebay lawn darts is moss sterile plutonium value api viglink nabisco raisin biscuits carmela and furio 38g breasts what genre is sinatra ants in dog food safe to eat does riding a horse stimulate a woman where can i turn in my maryland tags clunking noise when accelerating and decelerating how would i look without a mustache can i use brake fluid for power steering what to make with leftover pork chops license free walkie talkie how do streets get their names why do police wear blue electric blanket electricity usage voice of simply orange commercial police benevolent association sticker svarta bunk bed weight limit beer to wine equivalent what are june bugs good for drinking sour milk effects fold like a lawn chair fixed point vs floating point what was cartman saying in german ford f150 coolant capacity is dramamine the same as benadryl how much does the average chicken breast weigh money in rubber bands meaning of cinnamon girl how to sharpen curved blades changing nose ring early should i join the freemasons how to clean vinyl records with windex refrigerator noise levels db