Week Nineteen: Alphabet Poetry

The ABCs of Alphabet Poetry

Along with the English Haiku and the Cinquain, the Alphabet Poem is likely one of the first poetry forms students are introduced to in school. There’s something about the simplicity of the challenge that makes the alphabet poem a lot of fun to play with.

Three Ways to Play with the ABCs

Approach One: List Them Out

Write a poem by listing each letter down the left-hand margin and assigning each letter at least one word. This approach is similar to what you’d find in an anagrammatic poem (more on that in a post to come!) The important thing is that each letter is clearly represented by at least one word.

[see example below: “An Original Alphabet Poem”]

Approach Two: Tell a Story

Write a story using each letter of the alphabet as the first letter of each word. Words can be in alphabetical order, reverse alphabetical order, or any other configuration, as long as each letter is represented by a single word.

Original Example
Average bears can’t dance every fourth generation. However, ingenious juveniles know lazy Monday nights often provide quite remarkable situations to unleash various waltzes, xaxados, yurukikos, zydecos.

Approach Three: The Quick Brown Fox Method

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog

This simple phrase is interesting because it includes every letter of the alphabet in nine short words, and eleven syllables. Poets up for a challenge could try to match the efficiency of the above phrase by creating their own collection of words that meet the same criteria in as many words. (Or less, if you can manage it!)

Original Example
Quit flummoxing plucky wizard hives by June (7 words, 11 syllables)

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An Original Alphabet Poem

Good Words

Alabaster
Bivouac
Colloquial
Dilapidate
Effervescent
Flounder
Globular
Heliotrope
Illuvium
Jubilance
Kerfuffle
Lackadaisical
Malfeasance
Narwhal
Oblong
Phantasmagoria
Quintillion
Reconnoiter
Scalliwag
Tintinnabulation
Ululate
Verisimilitude
Willowy
Xenomorph
Yowl
Zephyr

Notes on My Original Alphabet Poem

My alphabet poem is also a list poem where I’ve listed some of my favorite words to hear and say out loud. What are some words that catch and thrill you when you hear them? The type of word that you can’t help but stop to appreciate and repeat out loud, even if it means interrupting someone in mid-sentence. Comment to share!

Links to Online Resources

Alphabet Poetry – Writer’s Digest

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**Come back every Friday to see the next form!**

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–Creative works are owned by the author and subject to copyright laws

One thought on “Week Nineteen: Alphabet Poetry

  1. Pingback: Alphabet Poetry – Adam of the Universe

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