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Hello. This is Frank Hubeny. The form for the next two days is the acrostic. We haven’t had this as a challenge before although Samuel Peralta provided an example a few years ago: https://dversepoets.com/2012/11/22/form-for-all-giving-thanks/

To write an acrostic poem, take a word or phrase and use each letter as the first letter of each line in the poem. One should be able to read that word or phrase vertically down the left side of the poem. There are no other constraints. Each line can be metrical or free verse or even a prose poem paragraph.

There are many variations to the acrostic form, all of which are acceptable for this challenge. Lewis Turco in his “The Book of Forms” even provided names for some of these variations.

Suppose instead of using the first letter in each line, one uses the last letter in each line. There is a name for that acrostic-type form. It is called a “telestich”.

But why limit oneself to the first or last letters of each line? Why not pick a letter in the middle of each line of the poem. That, believe it or not, also has a name according to Turco. It is called a “mesostich”.

From this point it just gets more complicated. Why limit oneself to only the first letter of each line or the last letter of each line or some middle letters? If one has a word on both the first and the last letters, that is called a “compound acrostic”. If the words are the same, it is called a “double acrostic”. I suppose one could have three or more words going down the lines of the poem, but I could not find a name for that in Turco’s work.

A special kind of acrostic uses each letter of the alphabet in a 26-line poem. That is called an “abecedarius”. There are many children’s books providing examples of that.

There is even something called an “alphabestiary”. For this, one goes through the alphabet, as for the abecedarius, but each letter begins the description of a fabulous beast.  As an example of this, Lill Halberg recommended a children’s book by Mercer Mayer, Professor Wormbog in Search for the Zipperump-a-Zoo.  Although mainly about the Zipperump-a-Zoo, it does list the rest of the beasts.  If you know any others let me know in the comments section.

As an example here is Lewis Carroll’s “A Boat Beneath a Sunny Sky” read by Tom O’Bedlam. The initial letters of this poem give the name of the real Alice: ALICE PLEASANCE LIDDELL. (YouTube Channel Source: SpokenVerse)

The challenge is to write an acrostic poem (or telestich, mesostich, double acrostic, compound acrostic, abecedarius, alphabestiary or some other variation you might come up with where the letters of a word or phrase are somehow present vertically through the lines). It can be on any topic you want. Any other constraints, such using metrical or free verse, are up to you.

To participate, post your acrostic or acrostic-like poem on your blog. Copy the link to your post and paste it in the Mister Linky below. Leave a comment here if you like. Perhaps we can discuss acrostics in more detail? Visit the other people who have also linked their poems. That is how we get to know each other better.