How To Write Acrostic Poems
 
by Bruce Lansky
 
Acrostic poems are easy to write, and some of the easiest acrostic poems use names. Try this exercise: Write your name vertically on a piece of paper or type it vertically on your computer. For this example, we’ll pretend your name is Joe.

    J
    O
    E

Now think of a word or a phrase that describes you that begins with the letter J. Then think of a word or phrase that begins with O. Finally, think of a word or phrase that begins with E. Here’s what your acrostic poem might look like:

    Joe

    Jolly
    Outgoing
    Excellent

After you’ve written an acrostic poem using your name, try writing poems with other words, such as "football," "horse," or "summer." For a real challenge, see if you can make the acrostic poem tell a story rather than just describe the word you chose. These examples may get your creative juices flowing:

    Garbage

    Grounds (coffee)
    Apple (core)
    Rinds (mellon)
    Banana (peel)
    Anchovies (from a pizza I wouldn’t eat)
    Grapes (too ripe to eat)
    Emptying the stinking bag (my job)

    Bruce Lansky © 2002

    Candy

    Charleston Chew
    Almond Roca
    Nestle’s Crunch
    Dots from Mason
    Yummy

    Bruce Lansky © 2002

Notice that both of these poems tell a story. In the first, the speaker knows what’s in the garbage bag because it’s his duty to empty it when it’s full. In the second, the speaker has candy on the brain and would spend his last quarter at a candy store or movie theatre.

Have fun writing!

 

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