Anyone who wants to start writing poetry should consider an acrostic poem first. Take your "subject," such as a person's name, and write it letter by letter, vertically down the side of the page. Then write a word or phrase for each letter. Because of their simplicity, children enjoy writing acrostic poems. Once you have written a few straightforward acrostic poems, such as using your given name, you can tackle a more difficult subject, such as encapsulating the word "English."
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Read some examples of acrostic poetry, online or in books. A good book to read is "Animal Acrostics" written by David Hummon and illustrated by Michael S. Maydak. One poem from the book is:
This acrostic poem spells out lemur vertically, which it describes in the text.
Write an acrostic poem to spell out your name. Write the letters of your name vertically down the left side of the paper, one letter per line. Start simply by writing just one or two words for each letter, but then try to progress to phrases.
Write an acrostic poem about English by first brainstorming all the words, phrases, adjectives and nouns associated with it. For example, you might include on your list "most popular language in the world" and "American English." There are no right or wrong ideas because this is your personal list. The words and associations can be humorous. Use a thesaurus to help you search for words.
Write the letters contained in the word "English" down the left side of your page, vertically. Give each letter its own line.
Use each letter to start a line of poetry. For instance:
England is where it all started ...
Now it's spread all over the globe
Good day is the first greeting you'll hear in
London, where glove rhymes not with rove ...
Use your own ideas and include them in your acrostic poem. Acrostic poems are almost like riddles, so do not be afraid to tease your reader and make him guess the word. Make sure to include effective adjectives and nouns, although they do not have to be complicated. Remember the large eyes of the lemur poem. You are trying to sum up the essence of the word "English" while not making it too obvious.
Revise your poem. You might have to edit it several times before you are happy with it.
Show it to a friend, relative or writer's group. Find out if they think you have captured the concept of the word "English" in your poem.
Tips and warnings
- An acrostic poem does not have to rhyme, but it can.
- If your poem is difficult to write, go back to the brainstorming step to generate more words and ideas associated with the word you are trying to write about.
- Acrostic poetry does not suit everybody. If it is not for you, try to write a free-verse poem.
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