What is an acrostic poem?
An acrostic poem is a fun poetry form that can be written about any topic.
It's a poem where letters within the lines of that poem (at the beginning, middle, or end) spell out a specific word. That word is reflective of the topic or theme of the poem.
What are the rules?
The one rule of an acrostic poem is that a word must be spelled among the beginning, middle, or ending letters of a line.
An acrostic poem does not have to rhyme, but it can.
It also doesn’t have to follow a specific syllable count.
How do I write an acrostic poem?
- Think of the word you want your poem to be about (family, hope, inspiration, birthday, etc.).
- Write the word vertically. Tip: Use paper instead of a computer. When writing poetry, it’s easier to manipulate words and phrases on paper by jotting down thoughts or scribbling out words.
- Write down some words or phrases you think of when it comes to that topic (ex: FAMILY – fun, love, siblings, mom, dad, bond, care, memories, bickering, time together, play, vacation, etc.).
- If the words you think of start with one of the beginning letters of a line, go ahead and fill them in. From there, work on fitting your other ideas into the lines.
- When writing acrostic poems, make sure the letters that spell out the word are clearly marked by using capitals, quotations, or bold print.
- For young children or beginning poets, a simple way to start is by associating only one word to each of the letters in the poem:
- Play around with the language to add more details to enhance the poem. Some poems are written in a way that the featured word is subtle, while others make it more pronounced by saying “A is for…” Stretch yourself and write in a variety of ways. That’s the best way we learn and hone your skill.
The 3 different types of acrostic poems
- The first letter of each line
- Using letters in the middle of the line
- The last letter of each line
The most popular version is when a word is spelled using the first letter of each line (as seen above). Other options provide more of a challenge to experienced poets.
One option is to have a word hidden in the middle of the poem.
Poetry makes me haPpy
And brings jOy to my soul.
I can see mysElf in the words,
And it makes Me feel whole.
Acrostic poem examples creating words in the middle of the lines:
A third option is to write a poem that has a word spelled vertically using the last letters of each line. This can be the trickiest variety, but it’s a great puzzle for those who want a challenge.
When I'm feeling down and need a pick-me-uP
No other thing than write will dO.
It releases my emotions and makes me feel like mE.
There's nothing like writing to make me calM.
Acrostic poem example creating a word from the end of the lines:
Acrostic Poem Examples for Kids:
And sad times
I will always
Examples of Obvious Acrostic Poems:
F is for Father who protects us.
A is for Always loving each other.
M is for Mom who takes care of us.
I is for Instigating pranks on siblings.
L is for Listening to each other.
Y is for Yesterdays and tomorrows together.
Examples of Subtle Acrostic Poems:
Family can be flesh and blood
And friends who would never leave you.
My family is made up of both, and
I’ll stand by them and protect them with everything I have,
Learning to navigate life together through
Yesterday’s memories and tomorrow’s adventures.
- Love Stays Hopeful
- My Mother
- The Poetry Masters
- Silent Healing
- Our Military Troops
- Nature Speaks
- Hope In A Dream
As you can see, there are many ways to craft acrostic poems. This form can be tailored to people of all skill levels, and it's a great way to use language to convey a particular theme.
Acrostic Poetry Collections
More Acrostic Poems. Explore these Collections: