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Wednesday, April 25, 2012


There's an old saying, "You learn something new every day." Well, here is one of the things that I learned today: there is a name for someone who is learning the letters of the alphabet -- he or she is an abecedarian [ey-bee-see-dair-ee-uhn]. This word can also mean "a beginner in any field of learning".

The term means something a little different in the world of poetry. An abecedarian poem is an alphabetic acrostic poem, meaning the first letters of each line make up the alphabet, from A to Z. It is an ancient poetic form, and can even be found in the Old Testament of the Bible. (Of course, the poems in there were written using the Hebrew alphabet.) I went looking for some examples online, and came across these Astounding Abecedarian Poems, written by school children in Kentucky. Here's one I especially liked:


A school
Class is fun
Do your best
Fun to learn
Good teacher
Hard work
I love school
Jumping jacks
Kids learning
Lots of learning
Math and learning
Nice work done
Obey the rules
People help support the school
Quiet reading at school
Reading in the school library
Smart teacher
Teachers are great people
Up the grades go at school
Very fun learning
Work is fun
X-cellent work
You can have an education
Zealous people at school

~Justina J.

I don't think I've ever written an abecedarian poem before.  I decided to give it a try, and had a lot of fun with it!  Here's what I came up with:

Spring in Bloom

Columbine, and
Daffodils --
Each sway in line.
Forsythia next to my
Garden plot of grape
Hyacinths – I've quite a lot!
Irises, I have them, too –
Just my favorite
Kind, all blue.
Lilacs love the
Month of May,
Pass this way.
Queen Anne’s Lace,
Roses, wild,
Sashay in the breeze so mild.
Underneath the eaves, and
Violets peeking through their leaves.
Wisteria climbs ‘round the door,
X marks the spot where I’ll plant more.
Yesterday I sowed some seeds.  Soon I’ll have
Zinnias where once grew weeds.

~Janelle H.

How about you?  Are you up for an abecedarian poem challenge?  Pick a subject -- any subject at all -- and then try writing a line for each letter of the alphabet.  (And then... please...  share your poem with me!)

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