I love to photograph, smell, and just be around beautiful flowers
Source: Flora Breen Robison
Copyright by Flora Breen Robison
During the month of April, the United States celebrated the National Month of Poetry. As part of that celebration, I published a poem a day on this blog for 30 poems total. Many of these in the latter half of the month were acrostic poems. All of these have lined up so the written word or phrase reads vertically downward from the left. This is the most simplest form of acrostic poem to write, as well as one of the most frequently written.I was asked by a member of ChimeIn whether the Acrostic had to spell out the subject matter of the poem and what was really meant by the term “Acrostic Poem.”
I was asked similar questions when I started publishing Acrostic Poems on HP and I wrote an article in response using flowers as a theme throughout the article. I am taking this opportunity to share this explanation of this poetry form.
There are Several Ways To Write Acrostic Poems
As I stated earlier, many acrostic poems are written vertically downward from the left. However, it is not necessary for the acrostics to be that easily read. Some can be quite complex by having the words in the middle of the line or the end of the line, or some combination of all three. Furthermore, though acrostics are often written in block form, they do not have to be written as a square or rectangle. The lines can be different lengths and thus create various shapes of acrostic poems. Not all websites allow you to change the shape of the lines unless you take a photograph of the finished poem and load that. For the purposes of this explanation, I will leave out shapes like an hour glass or a cat as it is not necessary to do this as an introduction to the poetry form.
Finally, you will notice that I always bold the letters spelling out the words in my poems. Most poets do not do this because they want you to solve the puzzle yourself. But I like to bold mine so that my readers can enjoy my poems as poems as well as acrostics and not spend all of their time trying to figure out where the acrostic phrase is-especially if the lines are long as I won’t know until the poem is published if ads or photographs will interfere with the way I line up the poem before it is published.
First, here is a standard acrostic poem:
Red roses are the flowers
Every man will buy when
Desire is the theme that
Roses should convey.
Ordering pink roses will
Show that he is thinking
Everything is romance.
Send white roses to Mom.
Next, a poem where the acrostic is lined up in the middle of the poem:
February’s Flowers are violets
And the lily Lives at Easter time
Few bloom Orange in colour,
But purple, White and yellow are
Often seen Everywhere. Popular
Blooms are Roses, even if thorns
Are sharp.I Still love to smell them.
Next, a poem where the acrostic lines up on the right-hand side. The last letter in each line spells the acrostic. With these poems the shape must be a square or rectangle, although since these poems were originally published on a different site, the shape of the rectangle no longer lines up. You can see the intent I had originally, however. :
I must confess that I am never saD
When I see a garden bloom azaliA
Daisies, heather, violets, roses. IF
I see a floral bouquet made up oF
Daffodils, I’ll feel free and sing toO
When they’re near I don’t feel baD
Flowers are gorgeous in bloom – I
Must admit, though, that I will feeL
Sad when cut flowers die. Yes, alL
Flowers die. Then fall their petalS
The final acrostic poem I’ve included is the most difficult to write of the group. The acrostic has the same word at the beginning and end of the poem. Again, on this blog the shape is no longer a rectangle, but you can see my original intent for the purposes of discussing this poetry form. :
Mum is short for chrysanthemuM
Utterly sweet. Yes I do thank yoU
Mom, for all that you’ve done. I’M
Sending you a bouquet of MumS
Notes On My Chosen Titles:
Red is my favourite colour of roses.
Flowers as a whole just had to be one of my titles.
Daffodils are my mother’s birth flower. (Mine are violets.)
Mums always make me think of Mother