Friday, June 18, 2010

Let's All Write an Acrostic.

Now we come to a form that is very easy to explain.  If you read the letters than begin each line downwards they form a word or phrase.  At least that's the most basic form.  Most of the examples I find online are simply means through which one can deliver obscene messages covertly.  There are variations of every last letter of the line or the first letter of every word.  Famously, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals donated a brick to the newly opened Petco Stadium in San Diego:

I'm not going to write one with every letter.  I'm not feeling quite that clever today.  I'm going to go with the traditional "first letter of each line" variety of acrostic.

I'll admit my snobby hackles raised a little when I read it was this exercise this time, thinking it a poetic exercise for school children.  Then I got over myself and did it anyway.  It was fun, but probably not the best fruit of this project.  I think of it as a writing exercise, a means of sharpening vocabulary application and giving one's creative juices a workout.  I'm not sure it's a poetic form that's ever going to have much of a day and I notice even Ron Padgett was a little hard pressed to find examples of the form to include in his text.   And if I ever do employ the form again, I doubt I'll be showing it to people.

Having said all of that, it was an enjoyable exercise.

So, I just had fun, wrote freely, made a little self-deprecating joke, and played faster and looser with cadence than I'm normally comfortable with.  Here is what it yielded:


Mothers threaten naughty children with his poetry
And he is barred from at least six Ivy League campuses.
They say his acrid smell drives off anything with a nervous system.
He is, therefore, occasionally useful as a natural means of pest control.
Every other quality he possesses is entirely unseemly.
Refraining from naming him would be wisest here, but ultimately
Safe in that no one actually reads him.


  1. Are you implying I lack a nervous system?

  2. That would be Laurie logged in as me, for those of you following along who don't live in our house.

  3. As for Laurie's question...and since she obviously has a nervous system...are you saying she is a pest? roflol