Alphabet Poetry: Poetic Forms

Learn how to write alphabet poetry, a fun poetic form that involves using the alphabet. Find a few different strategies and example poems here.
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This week, my oldest son (6) started kindergarten (and riding the school bus), and my youngest son (4) started preschool. Besides making me feel sentimental and teary eyed about how fast my little guys are growing up, the beginning of school reminds me of my own days as a youngster. While both my boys know computers about as well as I do, back in the day we were just tackling the alphabet in kindergarten.

And so, of course, today I want to cover the alphabet poem. There are many different ways to write an alphabet poem.

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The Complete Guide of Poetic Forms

Play with poetic forms!

Poetic forms are fun poetic games, and this digital guide collects more than 100 poetic forms, including more established poetic forms (like sestinas and sonnets) and newer invented forms (like golden shovels and fibs).

Click to continue.

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A-Z for Each Word

You can write a poem where the first letter of each word is a different letter of the alphabet:

Kangaroos queried zebras
for clues about disappearing
x-ray machines, but those
striped horses were pathetic:
"You never ogle vain
underoos." Even jumping
retain less gibberish.

A tactic for writing this poem is to write out the alphabet ahead of time so that you can pay attention to which letters have been used and which letters are still up for grabs. This poem will stretch your mind in unexpected ways.

Of course, you can also do this consecutively through the alphabet:

A barbaric canopy divided elephant
flag givers high in jumping karate leg
mounts nevermind old pirate quarrels
registered self-employed tax-paying
units vacated wordlessly xylophonic
yesteryear zealots.

So yeah, I'm totally not proficient with the alphabet poems, but you get the idea, right? (I'm sure both my sons could do a better job.)

Another Approach for Alphabet Poems

Another method for alphabet poems is to go through the alphabet using the first letter of the first word for each line:

After much deliberation,
Bob decided he should
Cancel his appointment with the
Dentist, because he has an
Ear ache, not a tooth ache.
Figuring this fact out
Gave Bob all the help
He needed to say,
"I need to cancel tomorrow's appointment
Just because I now
Know what is wrong with me.
Last week, I somehow
Made the mistake of
Not knowing my
Own teeth from my ears.
Please forgive the
Questionable error in
Recognizing simple
Symptoms."
Then, Bob called
Up his town's
Very good ear specialist,
Who understood from Bob's background in
Xylophone playing and excessive
Yelling made him prone to
Zealot ear canal damage.

You can always flip the alphabet, too. That is, instead of going A to Z, you could write these pieces from Z to A. It's all about having fun and stretching your mind. Kind of like school.

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