Abecedarius Poetry Form

Abecedarius is a lyrical poem composed as an acrostic employing the poetic device of the first letters of its lines forming an alphabet. To use the alphabet in a unique manner is the creative challenge of this genre, other than the obvious of finding words for the letters x and z.

Alphabetic acrostics first appear in Hebrew religious poetry found in the Old Testament. It seems that using letters of the alphabet as the initial letter of each line was thought by ancient cultures to connect the human with the divine. This device was considered a conduit to God and was commonly used in prayers, hymns and oracles.

According to the Harper Collins Study Bible; 1993, one variant of the Abecedarius is found beginning with Psalm 9 and continuing through Psalm 10:18. There, every other line begins with a sequential letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Another is found in Psalm 119, written in 22 stanzas of 8 lines. All lines in a given stanza begin with the same letter. Too bad the English translation does not reflect the Hebrew alphabetical sequence.

In modern times, the alphabet is often found in word games for children and is sometimes called the ABC Poem.
Psalm in Action by Judi Van Gorder

All praise our Creator, called by many names,
Blessed is the work of His hands.
Cant in dulcet tones His psalms,
Dance with energy in His presence
Eager to follow His lead 
For faith is an action word.
Gather the oppressed, offer support,
Hold them close in His name.
Include all who ask, honor those who don’t.
Joyfully serve all of His commands.
Kindle a flame in your heart to
Light the way for others that they may see,
Mantled by His virtue, we endure.
No one is less in His sight
Offer sustenance and acceptance to all.
Protect with fervor His creation.

Quiet is His manner, 
Righteousness His strength,
Science His invention,
Time His plan. 
Unconditional is His love, 
Vast His ability to forgive,
Wise His teachings and
Xenias, His gifts given in abundance. 
Yes, is my answer to His call, my
Zeal, will be tempered by tolerance in His image.

Pasted from http://www.poetrymagnumopus.com/index.php?showtopic=1064
My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for years of work on this fine PMO resource.

 

My example
There was an Old Lady

An old lady, I first thought
But then I looked again
Certainly she’s maybe not
Defined as old my friend.

Especially in times of later born –
Fine times in which we live.
Granted, that she does seem worn
Having always had to give.

I know she was a helpmate first,
Joining with her man each day,
Keeping order when the worst
Lean times came their way.

Mostly she performed
Necessary tasks
Often, when informed –
Probably unasked.

Quietly she made a life,
Raising children, teaching.
Steadily, her husband’s wife
Taking without over-reaching.

Usual days would end in prayer,
Verses would be read you bet.
Wondrous things we not yet there;
X-rays weren’t invented yet.

Yes, she pre-dated bodice rippers,
Zones for buses, even zippers.

Note:  This is not an ABCDarilus Poetry form, for it lacks the spiritual or historic reference.
It is properly filed under ABC Poem.

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