The Dactyl

Slice of Life2

I am participating in the March Slice of Life Story Challenge. Thanks to the co-authors of              Two Writing Teachers for creating this  supportive community.

I’m taking an online course on lyrical language. Since it is designed to help writers better understand the sounds and rhythms of words in writing, the first few lessons are specifically about poetry. I’m cheating a little today and sharing a couple of poems that I wrote for one of the assignments.

The last lesson I completed was on the dactyl, a specific poetic rhythm that I’m sure you’ll be able to pick up from my poem.

Spring Flowers

Hyacinths offer a pleasant aroma.

Daffodils glow with a golden delight.

Tulips transform the drab beds with bright color.

Gardens become a spectacular sight.


Then there’s the fun double dactyl. There are very specific rules for this poetic form, including starting with two nonsense words. You can read more about double dactyls from Amy Ludwig VanDerwater here. My attempt was influenced by Pam Munoz Ryan’s picture book Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride.

A Daring Escape

Overfelt Doverfelt

Eleanor Roosevelt

Had a good friend who could

Fly airplanes high.


One evening Eleanor


Flew with Amelia

Into the sky.


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8 Responses to The Dactyl

  1. dianeandlynne says:

    Rose, your commitment to learning and writing inspires me. I love these; especially the Eleanor Roosevelt flight with Amelia. The structure fits the content. Also, your love of gardening shines through with the spring flower descriptions. P.S. It’s not “cheating.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lisa Keeler says:

    Oh wow- I bet these were hard to create.. fun with words and rhythm… I love it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. arjeha says:

    These are neat, Rose. Poetry not being one of my strong suits I admire anyone who can come up with specific rhymes and rhythms and choice words to create specific images.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. lynnedorfman says:

    Wonderful poems, Rosie! I think I remember studying “The Charge of the Light Brigade” and “Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking” as examples of the dactylic meter. I took a fabulous course on poetry as an undergrad with a Penn professor. I learned so much. What a great idea to learn more about the rhythms and rhymes of poetry! I am not surprised to find a poem about flowers here! And what a great way to return to a beautiful picture book to write this poem – it is amazing, Rosie!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Liz Forderhase says:

    Beautiful poems. What a wonderful class to take! Thank you for sharing your dactyl poems and brightening my morning.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Your post reminds me of how much I don’t know. Thanks for teaching me about this poetry form and sharing yours. I took time to read them aloud to really hear the rhythm. Both sound wonderful! And thanks for mentioning another thing a writer can study. I may just add it to my list of things to do!

    Liked by 1 person

    • rosecappelli says:

      The course is The Lyrical Language Lab: Punching up Prose with Poetry by Renee LaTulippe. I would highly recommend it. I’m doing it as a self study but I have a few critique partners taking it with me.


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