This splendid gathering is timed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Anthony Hecht
and John Hollander
's pathbreaking Jiggery-Pokery
, and comes with an introduction by Willard Spiegelman, who writes: 'Think of “light verse” not as mere triviality but as a special form of illumination. The double dactyl makes its own claims, and does its own work. It has grown over time ... The new double dactyls collected by Messrs. Groves and Williamson prove individually and collectively that having once “learned” the rules of the form, a poet may produced a learnèd work, a poem both “simple, sensuous, and passionate” (Milton’s desideratum), and containing both “simplicity and deep feeling” (T. S. Eliot’s). Feeling goes with, not against, wit and learning. These new poets have extended Hecht and Hollander’s original. One hopes that the old masters would have approved ... the new variations on the form, in the spirit in which they have been committed.