NaPoWriMo, Day 29: A Double Dactyl (But Not Really)

The Despot Queen of Soap

Rub a dub, scrub a dub,
Queen Ranavalona
bathed on her balcony,
wearing a hat.

Slaves washed her naked flesh
as a crowd cheered and clapped;
there was nothing she liked
better than that.

 

 

This is a crazy form. Nuts. Let’s look at the requirements: 1) It’s supposed to be about a person. 2) The first line should be a nonsense phrase. 3) There should be two four-line stanzas. 4) In each stanza, lines one through three have six syllables, and the fourth has four. 4) The two fourth lines rhyme with each other. 5) And … the six syllables in each line should follow a pattern where a stressed syllable is followed two that are unstressed, and then you do that again. 

I think I got everything but that last part. I just … I can’t hear syllables very well at all. There’s a reason why, after a test in elementary school to see which band instruments suited us best, I was advised to *please* not play percussion. 

Also, Queen Ranavalona I ruled in Madagascar in the 19th century. This book (which I’m reading for kicks, not for life coaching or etiquette tips) is where I got the detail about her proclivity for bathing while wearing a hat and while citizens dutifully cheered. Sounds like a fun gal, except for the slaves … and she also ordered a lot of people to be burned at the stake, boiled alive, or chucked off mountains. There’s always something, isn’t there?

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One thought on “NaPoWriMo, Day 29: A Double Dactyl (But Not Really)

  1. How marvelous! I love your witty explanation and response. I, too, was reading over those double-dactyl requirements and thinking, hmmm, “Clara Who?”. In any case, Queen Ranavalona I sounds like quite a piece of work. BEST POSSIBLE NAME for putting in a poem, though!

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