To do today: Write an Acrostic, according to this prompting and instruction in TweetSpeak Poetry.
An acrostic is a poem or other piece of writing whose lines’ first letters, taken in succession, form a word, or alphabet. The Tweetspeak infographic referenced above explains how ancient this poem form is, tracing it back to classical Greece. Something it doesn’t mention, however, is how often the acrostic form also appears in very old writings of the Bible.
I did some research, which turned up these examples::
- In Psalm 119, all the verses of each stanza (in Hebrew) begin with the same letter, and the stanzas, one by one, take the reader through the (Hebrew) alphabet. (Those little subtitles placed before each group of eight verses are names of aphabet letters.)
- Proverbs 31:10-31 (the “Virtuous Woman” passage) is another example.
- Likewise the first four of the five songs comprising Lamentations.
- And there are more, in all these Psalms: 9, 10, 25, 34, 37, 111, 112, and 145.
All this instruction and information inspired me to do my bit, too, and make my attempt at an acrostic.
World-class poetry it isn’t, but it does help me process this whole concept of my life as a journey:
MY JOURNEY, MY OWN
Just as I am, with all my quirks,
Out of the who of my being
Unfolds the what of my life:
Reality formed from mentality, vitality, inner fires, and gifts.
Never wise is it to follow a path not mapped for me.
Ever upward and onward, let it be toward
You–the always-true and never-altering Thee.
Try your own acrostic-making with a topic on your mind! See what happens!
6 thoughts on “My Journey, My Own (An Acrostic)”
Clever as always.
Thanks, Sue. Blessings to you!
I like the calligraphy. Your first line makes me think of a hymn and smile!
Thank you, Lynn. The “calligraphy,” like the person, is kinda quirky, ’cause I’m not really too good at the real deal…
You know, I wrote the first four words and then thought of the hymn myself. That almost made me change the beginning to something more original, but I just kept going (which is almost always a good idea, first time through a writing). After your comment, I reread the poem twice and realized how it almost seems like a take-off on that hymn, but I had no conscious intention of making it that. Yet on the last reread, I thought how the “journey” of both the hymn and the poem follows the same direction, to the same destination. Interesting–especially after reading Lynni (Morrisey)’s comment below. Do you find acrostics soul-revealing?
Yes, some don’t realize that the Bible contains acrostic poems. I teach these in journaling classes a lot and I like yours! One name for them is abecedarian, b/c you can make acrostic poems using every letter of the alphabet as your spine. Another name is an alpha poem. What I love about them in the insights and surprises they afford. Almost always, they elicit things you were not thinking (consciously) or did not know you would write. I have written innumerable ones now, and especially love to slip them into a pretty frame, bestowing them as gifts. I have used the person’s name as the “spine,” whether for a birthday, memorial gift, etc. On the memoriums, especially, the family members are so touched, and tell me they put the framed poem in a place of honor and read it almost every day. What a humbling thing. Thank you for sharing. It’s a great idea whose time has come (like collage! 🙂 )
Lynni, about insights and surprises: read my reply to the other Lynn, above. Right there is a proof of what you say! I think I’m going to experiment around with more acrostics and see what they (like collages) might reveal!
Also, I love that idea of using an acrostic for a birthday, or, even more-so, a memorial. A wonderful gift!
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