Forms Ofpoetry

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Definition

See note below: Poetry in which every word begins with a successive letter of the alphabet. The first word begins with A, the second with B, etc. (OR) A poem that has 5 lines that create a mood, picture, or feeling. Lines 1 through 4 are made up of words, phrases or clauses - and the first word of each line is in alphabetical order from the first word. Line 5 is one sentence, beginning with any letter.

Note: ABC as a form has been used to describe anything from an Abecedarian poem (above), to an Acrostic poem, and other things. ABC typically has been used as a catch-all for sequential alphabet poems that may not necessarily use the entire alphabet like an Abecedarian poem. So, in reality, "ABC" is just an acrostic poem using successive letters of the alphabet per line or stanza. Example

A better cat doesn't exist, four gentle hearts insist. Juggling kittens, leaping, mewing, now overturning pillows--quietly rush, sustain terror--understand: Vitality will explode yawning zzz's!

Introduction
In spite of there being a large range of poetry forms, there are times when the poet wants to create a particular mood, or describe a partincular time. In another case the poet may want to comment or expand on a smaller poem or statement. The purpose of this site is to introduce poets to consider some of these moods or comments.

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Acrostic Poetry
Acrostic poetry is a form of short verse and constructed by a placing capitalised word or phrase vertically down the page to form the initial letters of each line of poetry. Each line is used to relate to the word, or praise the subject, if it is a ladies name for example. The term is derived from the Greek words akros, "at the end," and stichos, "line," and was popular in Greece during the Alexandrine period and later with the Latin playwrights Ennuis and Plautus. Much later again, it became popular during the Italian Renaissance periods. Originally the form also rhymed, and Turco in his book states this, however, in schools where poetry is taught as part of the syllabus, it states that the poem does not have to rhyme, and I suppose free verse exponents would agree with this, (and probably wrote the curriculum). So the choice is yours, Classic or Modern. In summary:

# May use one word or a phrase, placed vertically down the page. # One letter per line, all must be capital letters
# Each line of poetry must begin with the letter on that line and must relate to the word, or phrase using adjectives and phrases to describe that word # Does not have to rhyme.

Edgar Allen Poe wrote this about his cousin
Elizabeth it is in vain you say
"Love not" - thou sayest it in so sweet a way:
In vain those words from thee or L.E.L.
Zantippe's talents had enforced so well:
Ah! if that language from thy heart arise,
Breath it less gently forth - and veil thine eyes.
Endymion, recollect, when Luna tried
To cure his love - was cured of all beside -
His follie - pride - and passion - for he died.

Maggie Cusic shows her enthusiasm for nature and the season: Summer is beautiful
Unlike bitter winds of winter,
Making my heart glow, walking.
Midst golden fields
Enchanted
Rapturous.

Impressive vista's displayed in
Showy patterns of colour.

Breathtaking to behold
Enhancing my world.
Askylark
Unburdens his soul
Trilling his courtship
In a breathless dawn
Filled with wonder,
United in perfect harmony.
Lingering memories.

As an alternative it is possible to use the final letters, this is termed, telestich, again Peggy Nelson shows us a wonderful example of that: Special family and friends bring out affectionS
Pleasures rewarding; guidance in seeking helP
Endlessly coping with good and rigorous timE
Commiserating in sorrow, fulfilling our comiC
Incoherent times of stress hoping they be minI
Allways cherish them through the alpha-omegA
Loves gift; give gratitude because you are special

Down the middle, mesostich, and Peggy Nelson gives an...
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