Double Your Fun With a Double Dactyl and a Giveaway

On this Poetry Friday, I have a double dactyl and some information about an online course that you won’t want to miss.

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For those of you who know and love Renée LaTulippe and No Water River (her amazingly amazing website), you’ll be thrilled to hear that she will be offering an online writing course starting April 1, 2014! For those of you who don’t know Renée, you must get to know her. And you must visit No Water River which is truly an amazingly amazing website and a gift to children’s literature. No Water River has much to offer. I have a few links on my Poetry Resource page to get you started. You will quickly recognize Renée’s talent and love for writing.

Renée’s course, THE LYRICAL LANGUAGE LAB: Punching Up Prose with Poetry is designed for

  • Rhyming PB writers who would like a stronger foundation in the mechanics of poetry
  • Prose PB writers who would like to punch up the lyricism of their writing through poetic techniques
  • Writers who would like to learn more about writing poetry for children

For more information, click HERE.

To celebrate the launch of her course, Renée is giving away one admission to THE LYRICAL LANGUAGE LAB: Punching Up Prose with Poetry to be redeemed in the month of the winner’s choosing. Just leave a comment on her blog post HERE letting her know you’d like to be entered. You can enter for yourself or give the course to someone else if you win. Names will be entered into and the winner announced on February 21.

Renée asked me to be a part of the beta class for THE LYRICAL LANGUAGE LAB: Punching Up Prose with Poetry. I was thrilled when she asked and even more thrilled as I worked through the lessons. I’ve written poetry since I was a child but I have never studied poetry. I would find myself feeling unsure and shying away from trying new things. By working through Renée’s lessons I gained new knowledge and new confidence. The double dactyl is one form I had been avoiding for a while. I mean a six letter word with all those back-to-back consonants is scary enough. But learning about dactyls and then doubling it…Whoa, Nelly! I have to admit the lesson on dactyls was the most challenging for me. I think because I didn’t understand a lot of the terms in the rules for constructing double dactyl:

There are two stanzas of four lines each.

  • All lines except Lines 4 and 8 are two dactylic metrical feet in length.
  • Line 1 is a rhyming dactylic nonsense phrase such as Higgledy piggledy.
  • Line 2 usually introduces the topic of the poem, either a person or place. Note that the topic needs to be a dactyl, like the name Hans Christian Anderson.
  • Line 6 should be a six-syllable, double-dactyl word.
  • Lines 4 and 8 consist of one dactyl plus a stressed syllable.
  • Lines 4 and 8 rhyme. None of the other lines need to rhyme.

But after Renée’s lesson, I finally knuckled down and wrote my first double dactyl. 

Purramew Kittynips

Purramew Kittynips,
Lickity Milkylips,
Kneaded her paws as she
Prowled through the house

Hot on a rodent’s trail,
Ended the happy tail—
Snoozed on a rug with a
Belly of mouse.

Looky there, Renée’s bite-size lessons were just what I needed to lessen my stress about stresses and to dip my metrical foot 😉 into the world of double dactyls.

You can see that I’m excited about writing a double dactyl. But since I write write picture books for the most part, in rhyme and in prose, I’m even more excited about what this course will bring to the language in my manuscripts. So make sure you head over to No Water River to read all about THE LYRICAL LANGUAGE LAB: Punching Up Prose and enter the GIVEAWAY. While you’re there, visit the other Poetry Friday links. It’s a wonderful way to spend your Friday.

30 thoughts on “Double Your Fun With a Double Dactyl and a Giveaway

  1. Damn, but that’s a fine double dactyl, Penny!

    What a great giveaway. Any picture book write could benefit from Renee’s course.


  2. Um….you created something called SPUNKETY SPUNKATOOZ and didn’t share it? How could you! I feel betrayed. HAHAHA! You are a character, Penny, and I love your signature sound-play in your double dactyl. And with “bite-size lessons lessened my stress about stresses” I’d say you already have poetry in your prose, too. 🙂 Thank you for your beta testing fabulosity – you have been a huge help!!


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