Week Twenty: Acrostic Poetry

Introduction

An Acrostic poem uses the first letter of each line to spell a word or name central to the theme of the poem. Acrostics have been used in literature and poetry for many hundreds of years. Even today, they are commonly used as mnemonic devices to aid in memory retention and retrieval.

Form Example

“An Acrostic” by Edgar Allan Poe:

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.

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An Original Acrostic Poem

Trump – An Acrostic

Dangerous Delusions Direct this
Obnoxious, Obstinate, Orange
Narcissist. Negligence and an
Arrogant Aggression define this
Loud-mouthed Liar, this
Destructive Dimwit whose
Twitter Temper-Tantrums
Repel all but Repugnant Racists.
Unite against this Unwelcome,
Manipulative Misogynist, this
Pussy-grabbing Pig.

Links to Online Resources

Acrostic – Wikipedia
Acrostic Poems & Poetry – Writer’s Digest

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Week Eleven: The Blackout Poem

Blackout Introduction

Blackout poetry is a type of erasure poetry that features a strong emphasis on visual presentation. In a blackout poem, a found text is altered in a visually interesting way, emphasizing certain words in order to make a kind of artistic statement. The design of a blackout poem can be as simple or elaborate as the poet pleases.

Notes on Using Found Texts

There are two important things you need to consider before sharing a blackout poem. First, make sure that your original source is cited in some way to avoid potential risk of plagiarism. Second, the original found text must be significantly altered. Robert Lee Brewer at Writer’s Digest states, “If you’re not erasing more than 50% of the text, then I’d argue you’re not making enough critical decisions to create a new piece of art.”

An Original Blackout Poem

August 5, 2019

Links to Online Resources

Erasure and Blackout Poems – Writer’s Digest
5 Tips for Creating Blackout Poetry – powerpoetry.org
Erasure (Artform) – Wikipedia
How to Make Blackout Poetry – Medium.com
Trump Statement on Mass Shootings – Rev.com