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.
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!)
Quit flummoxing plucky wizard hives by June (7 words, 11 syllables)
An Original Alphabet Poem
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!
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