Tuesday, September 08, 2009

ABC Wednesday

H is for Higgeldy Piggeldy



Higgledy Piggledy,
My black hen,
She lays eggs
For gentlemen;
Sometimes nine,
And sometimes ten,
Higgledy Piggledy,
My black hen!

'Many Nursery rhymes of the 16th and 17th centuries featured animals like the Cat, Frog, Toad, Pig, Goose, Raven, Goat, Wolf, Bat and Mouse. This was also the era when people were obsessed by Witches. These animals were associated with witches as their familiars and Mother Goose is often illustrated in the guise of a witch - is there a connection between the Origins of Nursery Rhymes like ' Higgledy Piggledy'and the Witch?'

But hearken to the modern day Higgeldy Piggeldy verses

"The double-dactyl is a short verse form invented by the American poets Anthony Hecht
and John Hollander in 1966. The poem consists of one sentence containing forty-four
syllables that are distributed over eight lines and fall into two four-line stanzas.
The first three lines of each stanza are dactylic dimeter; the last one is a choriamb.
The two stanzas end with a masculine rhyme on the last syllable of the choriamb. The
final feature of the form is found in line six of the poem: a single, six-syllable
word which is a double-dactyl".

Here are some examples......

Rachmaninov

Higeldy Piggeldy
Sergei Rachmaninov
wrote his concertos for
handspans like wings.
Few realistically
can pianistically
digitalistically
play the damned things.
(games mag.)


Classics II: Anthony and Cleopatra

Patty-cake, patty-cake,
marcus Antonius
what do you think of the
African Queen?
Gubernatorial
duties require my
presence in Egypt. Ya
know what I mean?
-Paul Pascal

the origins of technology

Higgledy-piggledy
modern technology
started with antedi-
luvian zeal
when some uncivilized
Mesopotamian
unostentatiously
built the first wheel.
-RP (1987)


the mystery planet

Uranus, Uranus,
Herschel's discovery
axis inverted, past
Saturn it swings.
Who would have thought that the
antepenultimate
solar constituent
also had rings?
-RP (1987)

new-age medicine

Higgeldy Piggeldy
neo-aquarian
witch-doctors know what a
client expects:
non-pharmaceutical
homeopathical
remdies based on pla-
cebo effects.
-RP (1994)


Stephen J. Gould

Higgeldy Piggeldy
heterodoxical
paleontologist
Stephen J. Gould,
iconoclastically
trumpeted evidence
countering Darwin, but
no one was fooled.
-RP (1994)

Thank you to Denise who hosts ABC Wednesday. Slide over here and see what else H stands for.

15 comments:

Sylvia K said...

Fun post and interesting information!

Enjoy!

Sylvia

photowannabe said...

I am always learning something new on these ABC posts. Very interesting and fun to read.

Babooshka said...

Defintiely a very interesing original choice.

Roger Owen Green said...

That explains why some children's program, such as Little Bear, and Franklin, always seem so old-fashioned: almost all the characters are named as the animal names: Owl, Cat, Hen in the first case; Bear, Snail, Goose, etc., in the 2nd.

RuneE said...

Great post, but I think I prefer the old-fashioned style :-)

Rinkly Rimes said...

I always say I learn something every day from blogging. Today I learned about a new poetic form (new to me, that is.) Thank you.

Reader Wil said...

Thank you for this wonderful post. It's a coincidence that you chose a nursery rhyme, because I have written about Nursery Rhymes for the letter N, and for the letter O, I chose"The Origins of some Nursery Rhymes". I scheduled both posts for next month. I hope you don't mind?

The Weaver of Grass said...

These are most interesting. I do love to read modern takes on old rhymes. Do you know the version of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star?

Scintillate, scintillate globe vivific,
How i would fathom your nature specific.
Loftily poised in ether capacious.
Strongly resembling a gem carbonacious.

Jay said...

Fascinating! I knew the form, but your explanation was enlightening, none-the-less! I hadn't realised that the poem had to contain one single multisyllabled world to complete on line. And I never knew the names of the meters.

Rose said...

Very interesting! I'm afraid the format for a double-dactyl would intimidate me too much to even try to write one:) But I do like the examples. I never thought of Mother Goose looking like a witch before...hmmm, now that you mention it...

magiceye said...

that was interesting

Tumblewords: said...

A wonderfully engaging post!

dinesh chandra said...

hi good sea the blog a whole.

regards

dinesh chandra

Hildred and Charles said...

Thank for visiting, - I don't think I could write a Higgeldy Piggeldy but I did find them quite fun and a clever use of words to make a statement. I hope you enjoyed!

Grace and Bradley said...

Very informative, but seems very hard for me, especially this modern ones.