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How to Write an Acrostic Poem

By Gary R. Hess. Category: Poetry

There are many types of poems which will help you make the exact type of impression you want to make on your readers. Acrostic is one of those types. Furthermore, acrostic is also great for students.

The most common use of the acrostic poem for children is the "name poem", where students write their name vertically and then write a verb which describes themselves starting with that letter. Of course, this is an acrostic poem in its most infant form. With testing and maturity, this poetic form can be used in many ways.

First, let's start on describing what an acrostic poem is. It is a poem which takes a word or name and uses its letters or syllables to describe itself as a poem (or, at the very least, create a poem which somehow relate to the word[s]).

A bit confused? Think back to elementary school. It was most likely one of your tasks to write out each letter of your first name and use each letter as the first letter of a word which describes yourself.

An acrostic poem is something like this; however, it's a poem instead. It is also sometimes referred to as a "name poem." So here's an example:

Example:
Great man around the house
And everywhere he goes.
Rarely does he hurt a soul,
Yet he often is a fool.

Types of acrostic poetry

There are several times of acrostic poems. The one mentioned above is only one version. Let's look at some of the common ways to write these name poems.

1. A poem which spells a word using one letter per line. The letter is generally at the beginning but may be anywhere and is usually emphasized using bold or italics. An example of this is the poem written above.

2. A poem using one syllable per line.

Example:
Dragging through the years
Pain and agony in each
Only to die lonely

3. A poem using an abbreviation in each line creating a series. e.g. days of the week

Example:
Sunny days will come again
Monte kept for
Tue come a time when we
Wed and
Thurst for our
Fritting of love
Saturn paved its way

4. A multiple acrostic. This is simply using two or more words/series. The word may be the same word/series or a different one.

There you have it! The four most common acrostic poems.