How To Write An Acrostic Poem-Poetry Lesson
How to Write an Acrostic Poem
When we think of 'poetry', we usually think of poetry that rhymes. But there are many other styles of poetry, and each one is unique. An acrostic is a particular type of poem that does not necessarily have to rhyme. This article will teach you what an acrostic is and how to write a good one.
Pre-Writing for Your Acrostic Poem
Decide what materials to use.Some people like to write on a computer, whereas others work better with pencil and paper. There are pros and cons to each, so think about which way will work better for you. If you’re not sure, you can try each method and see which feels more comfortable to you.
- A computer will let you erase and edit more easily, and also let you undo mistakes and save alternate drafts with ease.
- Pencil and paper makes you slow down and really think about what you’re writing on the page. Studies have also shown that writing by hand strengthens the brain.
Understand how acrostics work.Acrostics may sound complicated, but they’re really not! All you need to remember is that the first letter of each line, when read vertically, must spell out the topic of the poem. The topic is often a single word, but can be more than that if you’d like. Consider of an acrostic poem about the sun.
- Keep in mind that the word you choose to serve as the first letter of each line will determine the length of your acrostic. Choose a word that corresponds with the length you want to write.
- If the word you want to write about is too long or too short, consult a thesaurus for synonyms. For example, if “love” is too short, you might try “friendship,” “adoration,” “devotion,” “tenderness,” etc.
- Remember that you can also use multiple words for your subject if you’d like. This is an easy way to add length.
Brainstorm.What do you want to write about? Choose a subject that you have a lot to say about, and hopefully one that gives you the opportunity to use your writing chops with sensory imagery and inventive language. Some helpful brainstorming activities might include:
- Keeping an ongoing notebook where you keep track of things you want to write about
- Making lists of the characteristics of the thing you want to write aboutFor example: your mother’s personality, her appearance, your favorite memory of her, how her voice sounds, what her perfume smells like, etc.
- Taking a walk and making notes about what you see in your notebook
- Taking inspiration from a piece of art. How does your favorite song or painting make you feel?
- Write about yourself! Who do you know better than yourself?
Writing Your Acrostic Poem
Write your subject word vertically.Since each line must begin with a letter from your subject word, you should always start by writing out the word. This way, you can visualize the poem and start anticipating how your lines are going to come together.
- Usually, the first letter of each line is capitalized, so it’s easier to see the word that’s spelled out.
Fill in the lines of your poem.You might be tempted to start with the first line, but you don’t have to. Look at all the letters you have to work with. What’s the most interesting line you can think of that starts with one of those letters? Begin there, so you know you have at least one line that you absolutely love!
- You can write end-stopped lines, meaning each line ends with punctuation or at a logical grammatical break.
- You can also write enjambed lines, meaning the lines can be broken wherever you need them to be broken, regardless of punctuation or grammar.
Focus on sensory imagery.Sensory imagery is language that draws on the five senses: sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell. Your reader will be able to understand abstract concepts like “love” or “hope” better if they can imagine specific details through their bodies.
- For example, instead of saying you love your mother, you can say you love the way she smells like onions when she’s done cooking dinner.
Try using similes and metaphors.A simile is a comparison that uses the words “like” or “as”: as red as a rose.A metaphor makes a comparison, too, but instead of saying that one thing is “like” another, it goes a step further and says that the two things being compared are the same thing: the clouds were cotton balls in the sky.
Use inventive language.Avoid cliches (sayings that have become so common that everybody knows them).Examples include calling something “red as a rose” or comparing clouds to cotton balls. Instead, be as creative as possible! Try to come up with descriptions, images, and comparisons that you’ve never heard before.
Revise your poem.Just because you finished filling out the lines of your acrostic doesn’t mean you’re done yet! Once you’ve finished your first draft, read it back to yourself and think about how you can make it even better.
- Make abstract language more concrete.Abstract language like “hope” and “love” might sound pretty, but it doesn’t say as much as language that we can feel in the body through sensory imagery.
- Strengthen your word choice. Circle all the words that look like they could be more interesting. Look up synonyms in the thesaurus to make your language pop, but don't choose a word just because it's long.
- Stay on topic. Make sure every line of the poem goes toward saying something about your subject.
Edit your acrostic for grammar and spelling.After you’ve made the poem as interesting and creative as possible, you need to go back and edit for mechanical errors. Make sure your reader can understand your poem by clearing up any confusing, awkward language. This should always be the very last thing you do.
Sample Acrostic Poem
QuestionHow do I write an acrostic poem from "appreciation"?Fatima WarraichCommunity AnswerThink about what "appreciation" means to you. Note down words that are synonymous to appreciation or are linked to it. Then, pick specific ideas and put them together. Next, edit your writing and make it better. Remember to use figurative language.Thanks!
QuestionWhat ideas do you have to write an acrostic poem about Winter? Also, what other words can be used instead of Winter for the poem?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThe following is a random suggestion based on my impressions from snow in winter. The cold season, the winter tide, cold, chill, opposite of summer, The long night (In reference to Antarctica). White. Innocent. Night. Timid. Enjoyable. Refreshing.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I write an acrostic poem with someone's name as the subject? What content should I put in?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThink of all of the things you like about them and their good qualities. Write them down and see if you can fit those ideas in your poem.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I write an acrostic poem about gravity?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTry it for yourself. For example: Gravity is what keeps us down Running without looking a clown Ambling about and slowly around Veering gently toward the ground Idling quietly wherever we're found Thrilled to stay put when we're housebound Yelling happily that space is so profound.Thanks!
QuestionCan I put a period in an acrostic poem?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo, but you can add commas if you want to.Thanks!
QuestionCan the words in a vertical line make a phrase?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, they can, as long as the phrase makes sense.Thanks!
How do you put end punctuation for an acrostic poem?
How do write an acrostic poem on revising?
What is an acrostic poem about�ancient Egyptians?
What does indevious mean in a poem?
How do I write an acrostic poem for predict?
- Be creative! Acrostic poems don't have to rhyme, but you might try to give it a shot anyway.
- Thesauruses and vocabularies can be very helpful if you don't find a word that expresses your feelings or that you have to change but you don't know how. Use them when really needed.
- If you're having trouble or you're not inspired, start off with a very short title.
- If writing on paper, use pencil, then trace the first letter of each line in marker to make your subject word stand out.
- Write a few lines, and then wait for a few days. As you generate new ideas, continue working on your poem. Get ideas from nature (look outside) or listen to music.
Sources and Citations
In other languages:
Español: , Português: , Italiano: , Русский: , Français: , Bahasa Indonesia: , Deutsch:
Video: Acrostic Poem Examples for Kids
10 Ways to Get a Better Night’s Sleep When You Have Psoriatic Arthritis
The Best Time to Buy a Swimsuit
Watch Kelly Clarkson Completely Lose It On the Globes Red Carpet
How to Write a Review on Google
How To Get What You Want
How to Decode Binary Numbers
With Severe Flu Season Lurking, Shots a Must
The Difference Between Your Day and NightMoisturizer
End Digestive Problems for Good
How to Be Good at Basketball Immediately
What It’s Really Like To Raise Twins