On September 28 we announced the Waltham Review’s Presidential Election Double Dactyl Challenge.  Some background on the double dactyl as a form of poetry: the double dactyl is a form of light verse, typically humorous like the limerick, but considered more difficult to construct.  A double dactyl has two stanzas, and each of those stanzas has four lines.  The first three lines of each stanza are dactylic dimeter (long – short – short – long – short – short) and the last line of each stanza is a choriamb (long – short – short – long).  The last lines of each stanza must rhyme with each other, and orthodox form requires this rhyme to be masculine, meaning that only the last syllables rhyme with each other.

We received truly amazing submissions from all over the world.  Below are the two prize-winning poems:

  • A general award “The 2016 Waltham Review Double Dactyl Prize” for double dactyl merit.

This award goes to Cody Walker for the double dactyl with the title “A Little Campaign Music”:

Hillary Maximus
Maps out a strategy,
Twenty points down.

“Here’s how we counter my
Pray the Republicans
Send in a clown.”

  • An award, “The 2016 Waltham Review Shortest Dactyl Award, Given in Honor of Donald J. Trump” for the double dactyl that is built with the shortest (non-nonsensical) sixth-line double dactyl word.

This award goes to Enrico Palazzo for the double dactyl with the title “Hellowdee Mellowdee”:

Hellowdee  Mellowdee,
Trump is the fellow who
Turns into jello when
Put on the spot.

Lacking the critical
Knowledge a typical
Tyrant has got.


(Artwork: “Piet” Mondrian (Dutch, 1872-1944) Broadway Boogie Woogie 1942.)

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