Tags4 lines or multiple 8 lines 10 lines 12 lines 16 lines abab Allpoetry Berg centered couplet formulaic French haiku iambic iambic pentameter iambic tetrameter iambic trimeter internal rhyme Irish isosyllabic isosyllabic 8 line length optional meter none meter optional mono-rhyme Newman octave Pathways PoetName poetry forms quatrain quatrains refrain rhymed rhyme optional sestet Smith Spanish stanzaic syllabic tetrameter unrhymed Van Gorder Weatherford Welsh
The following are “lifted” from the Allpoetry Acrostic Course, free to all.
It is known that people do not always realize how impressive you can make an acrostic. And sometimes they are not thought of as poetry, because they do not rhyme….
But, here is breaking news for you! Poetry does not have to rhyme. And the glorious thing about acrostics, is that they have a hidden message down the side as well!
To start. There are two main stages…
First, remember your brainstorming?
Did you pick a word or sentence? Put it down the side.
Now that you have your word, or phrase, think of the things that would fit. What does this word make you feel? How could you describe it? Use the brainstorm you had in assignment one. Your finished product should look a little like this…
Really happy now!
Is nearly better
So thank you for your prayers!
So thank you for being generous
I love you all for
Opening lots of happiness to my Mum
Now she’s in remission.
Your next form has two names,
Shadow or Mirror acrostic.
I prefer shadow, so I’ll probably use that, but it does get called both.
This acrostic is similar to the standard form, but a bit harder.
The idea here is that you have the same message at the left side of the poem and at the right side.
Start work with the same idea.
Choose your word or sentence, for example:
And fill the middle. This is to add an extra ‘hidden message’ in the poem, a clever twist that sometimes people miss. Therefore, these poems work better if they actually make sense.
Feel the love on the shelf,
Expel your anger into torture.
Expect to be fueled by coffee,
To be dancing on that caffeine shot!
The third form…
This does not appear to be official in any way (or at least I have found no outside information on it). It seems it was created by a genius here on AP. Nonetheless, it’s an interesting form, and therefore worth teaching!
To start, you need a word. Then you need another with around the same number of letters for the other side.
Here, I shall write it, and see if you can view the message.
(A clue: I am not a ‘normal’ English woman. Why?)
Countless cups I drink with appreciatioN
Of liquid with it’s caffienated echO,
Feeling loved by it’s mental thoughT
Fell in love, the day it was boughT.
Everyday life spent with my friend coffeE…
Everyone knows I prefer it to teA!
This is not quite as hard as the previous form. It requires a poem of almost any form, but the letters in the middle spell out the message.
For example, if every line had 13 letters, the 7th letter would form part of the message.
It would be wise to choose your message first, and then build your poem around it.
I have used the name TOYA.
Sitting here surrounded by dusT on all sides. I think all talking
is a must. I am alone in this old rOom. So, I can talk from birth to doom.
You may think I am crazy, but what Yelling will achieve? Everybody
knows you wear your heart on an Apron string. Tell me your belief?
Easier still. This form requires only the end letters to spell a message.
Again, it is wise to choose your word or sentence, and work around it.
If you get stuck, a tool I’ve learned to use is Google or a similar search engine. Type into the search bar “words ending with the letter ‘_'” and it will find pages for you. Same with the mesostich, type in the search bar “words with ‘t’ as the third letter,” or equivalent. No problems there…!
The hidden message here is mildly dire: read the last letter of every line to determine what the poem is about…
It is not to be confused (when you go out of your mind,
With being alive. People will care when you’re
Breathing whispers of Omega,
And meeting Alpha…a melancholy must.
Just waiting for the day you again grace earth.
Cross Acrostic. (I believe they may have run out of names!)
This form is a little trickier, but easier to understand, I think. There was a very famous one written by Edgar Allen Poe. Now even though most of you may never have studied his works (I’ll be honest and say that I have not…), his is a name that most of you should recognize as a famous poet. His poem was entitled ‘A Valentine,’ and was written to include the name of a sergeant.
The idea behind this is that the message is hidden across the acrostic. The first line has the first letter, the second line with the second letter, and so on.
Feed me with love and energy,
Treat me with respect.
You can use me in so many ways…
But I ask only one thing.
Start your diet another day!
My word? Fruit.
You have learned several forms so far. You have practiced the art of hidden messages in several places within a poem: at the end, in the middle, spread out….
The first form here is called a Word Acrostic. Essentially, you must think of a sentence, small or long, and then make it into a poem. To further explain what I mean, I’ll demonstrate. (Pay attention, you will be writing one!)
‘I am teaching you’ will be my sentence.
…will go down the side, like that. Then you will fill the rest out, and, hopefully, it will still make sense. These work better if you like to be clever, and make the message completely the opposite of the poem.
I only want to know what you have to show me.
Am I presuming too much?
Teaching me the basics of your chosen trade…
You tell me everything I need to know.
This is the word acrostic.
Now, we get clever.
This is where we amalgamate (mix) three different things together, and it is one of my favourite ways to write. I will be honest and say I’ve not seen anyone else write one…so I am sharing my knowledge with you…we can spread the word!
I have coined it as a Triple Threat.
(Note to everyone, if you have seen it elsewhere, let me know, and I’ll happily share the credit!)
This little beauty mixes the wholeness of a poem, with two hidden messages.
To make this, you need to do an acrostic, then a word acrostic, then the rest of the poem.
Sound complicated? I’ll show you how… Maybe you’ll enjoy them as much as I?!
Here’s one I wrote earlier.
Sentence- I will win yet…
Now you have your basis, you need to work out a sentence that runs alongside it…
There is a sentence or two. Sometimes, if you can include the punctuation, it helps people see the hidden message; however, this is not always possible.
On top of this, if the poem feels ‘unfinished’ with the sentence as it is, you might need to add a couple lines. I have done this, and indented them so they are seen as part of the poem but not part of the standard acrostic. However, they make sense as part of the word acrostic.
And the poem in full…
I know one thing only.
Wish myself to have been more.
I dream of better endings.
Lived for myself, for others-
Lots of love shared…
When I go,
I will regret one thing, I
Needed more. Just more
You. You were everything I had.
End draws near- I look back.
This Is It.
Remember one thing…
Failure is an option.
You may have noticed that the poem and the message are opposite? Again, a nice touch you might see often in acrostics.