Most people have heard about and even written an “acrostic” poem. It’s a rather simple pattern and can be quite fun to do. You can choose any word to be your base – a word or name that you write down the left-hand side of your paper, one letter under another. See farther down below to also get the “skinny” on ABC poems.
And PLEASE keep reading to the end if you have never heard my poetry story about Fiona and the Snake Poem from when I was teaching English in China ~ super cute. Just sayin’
SO, it only takes a few steps to get started with an ACROSTIC POEM ~
1. Choose a name or the object of your poem.
2. Write that name or that word down the left-hand side of
your paper vertically, generally using all capital letters.
3. Start each sentence of your poem with the capital letter on that line.
4. No need to worry about rhyming or counting syllables or anything.
5. Each line can be whatever length you choose, from one word to a longer sentence.
One word/line acrostic for the name “Susan” (Yes, I know this is a lame example, but it’s just an example. I know you can do better):
Or, use the first letter as the beginning of a sentence instead of a single word.
ABC Poems are basically the same thing EXCEPT it is a TWENTY-SIX line poem where every line starts with the next letter of the alphabet, in order. Every example I have seen, the word (or a tense of the word) EXCEPT has been used for the letter “X” (up to you, but it’s a common choice for the line that “starts with the letter X”
In 2016 I went to China to teach English at an “English Camp” during their winter break. I have shared this before but I really can’t let this poetry form pass without sharing this delightful experience once again. I had a 14-year-old student named “Fiona.” I explained how to write an acrostic poem and suggested to the students that they choose a favorite animal for their poem. I gave additional details and then they got busy.
Soon they were showing me their poems. They did a wonderful job. Then Fiona turned in her poem:
Snow is falling down.
No one wants to stay outside.
A little girl stands at my front door.
Knocks it with a little cry.
Early afternoon, she falls asleep in my room.
I read it and told it that it was a lovely poem but it had nothing to do with a snake. She replied, “But I wrote ‘snake’ down the left-hand side.”
So I explained that the poem also needed to be ABOUT a snake if that was the word she chose. She said, “Okay,” took the paper back, added a few words and turned it back in…
Here is what she added to that last line of “Early afternoon, she falls asleep in my room … and then she turned into a snake.”
I loved it!! Love her!! I laughed so hard. It is a cherished memory. And now, you can enjoy it too. Cheers!!
PLEASE REMEMBER ~ any poetry found on this blog, written by me, is my personal property and may not be used without my permission, other than sharing it as an example in a lesson or to read it to someone. The same goes for any poems that are shared in the comments of this blog or elsewhere online as a result of this challenge. They are the creative property of the person who writes them. These poems are their original work and no one may use them without their permission. It is understood that they own the copyright to them as soon as they post them. Thanks so much!
Also, if you choose to post your poems on your own blog ~ that’s awesome. But PLEASE don’t just copy and paste my daily instructions, but rather post your poem on your blog or your FB wall or wherever AND LINK BACK TO THIS BLOG POST for others to come here to read the instructions. I’ve spent considerable time researching the poetry forms and writing them up to share with you. Thanks for respecting my work.
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