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A Happy New Year to all Dactylians, i.e., supporters of, readers of, and contributors to, Dactyl Review. Once more we have BAM-bam-bammed our way through what looks like a not-so-nice year, 2021. But it was no worse than the one before and possibly much better than many, many other years we’ve lived through in the past. Everything, actually, is relative. Take 1940. For millions of persons worldwide that year was none too swift. For millions more it was a BE year—Before Existence, since they had not yet been born. But 1940 was good to me, for I was delivered into earthly being at the very moment that Hitler was taking Paris.

Hold on, old man. You lost me there. The stuff about the BAM-bam. . .

Yes, well . . . all Dactylians are BAM-bam-bammers, because in versification a dactyl is defined as a metrical foot consisting of one accented syllable followed by two unaccented (trinary verse). Like all trinary (three-beat) verse, dactyls can tend toward the sing-songy, and, therefore, may be frowned upon. Except in nonsense verse or children’s rhymes:

Weather Report

Mosterly easterly winds today,

Rain will blow in from the bay,

Not the right day for a day making hay,

Mosterly easterly, quite intense, beasterly,

Beasterly, hideous, nasterly dastardly,

Not the least westerly, mosterly easterly…


If you like skipping, or tripping along when you do your poetry-reading, you’ll appreciate the dactyl. Or, say, riding a horse:

Half a league, half a league,

Half a league onward bound

Rode the six hundred men

Into the Valley of Death and beyond.

Tennyson, “The Charge of the Light Brigade” (slightly revised for heavier dactylization)


Anyway, acolytes of the Dactyl, all of the above BAM-bam-bamming is a diversionary tactic, a way of softening up your brain while we ask you for cash. Keep tripping along lightly on that metrical beat as you read the following pitch.

Since 2010 Dactyl Review has provided writers and readers of literary fiction with excellent peer reviews, recognition for work well done, the chance to receive a generous financial award, and communion amidst like-minded authors. Our manifold thanks to all our readers, writers and reviewers. But, to mention just one thing: we can’t give the generous yearly award without cash.

Now, y’all: dig in them jeans and dig out all them greens. Fully deductible is your donation. Please?

U.R. Bowie

Contributing Editor




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