Acrostic Definition

An acrostic is a literary tool wherein the first letter of every verse consecutively bureaucracy a word or message. An acrostic is generally applied in poetry, however can also be used in prose or word puzzle. This word or alphabet is frequently linked to the subject matter of the poem. It is intentionally inserted to make readers discover the layered message. It also acts as a mnemonic tool that could quicken the pace of the memorization process. Acrostic poetry can be written in any meter, or unfastened verse form, with or without a rhyme scheme. However, the maximum not unusual types of acrostic poems are the ones wherein the initial letter of each line paperwork a phrase, and is frequently capitalized.

Types of Acrostic Poems

  • Telestich: These are the poems in which the closing letters of each line spell a phrase or message.
  • Mesostich: The poems wherein the middle of words or verses bureaucracy a word or a message.
  • Double Acrostic: The poem wherein phrases are spelled by means of each the first and last letters of each line in a way that one word is study vertically down the left aspect of the text, and another word is study vertically down the proper aspect of the textual content.
  • Abecedarian: Acrostic wherein alphabets are spelled as opposed to words. Chaucer’s poem “La Priere de Nostre Dame” is a superb instance of an abecedarian acrostic.
  • Non- Standard: Non-general acrostics do no longer use first or final letters to spell out a word. Instead, they emphasize letters in extraordinary places inside the poem.

Examples of Acrostic in Literature

Example #1

Acrostic in Lewis Carroll’s “Acrostic”

Little maidens, whilst you look
On this little tale-book,
Reading with attentive eye
Its attractive history,
Never think that hours of play
Are your best HOLIDAY,
And that during a HOUSE of joy
Lessons serve however to annoy:
If in any HOUSE you find
Children of a gentle mind,
Each the others captivating ever—
Each the others vexing never—
Daily paintings and activity daily
In their order taking gaily—
Then be very positive that they
Have a existence of HOLIDAY.

This is a very famous acrostic by Lewis Carroll. Carroll wrote this poem for three youngsters on Christmas. The poem illustrates the lovable experience of domestic life at some point of the holidays. The poet seems to give an explanation for why we have to take a break out of busy lives to revel in those instances of the holidays. However, it is the most common kind of acrostic, as the initial letters of the poem spell out the names of 3 sisters: Lorina, Alice, and Edith.

Example #2

Acrostic in Nabokov’s “The Vane Sisters”

“I ought to isolate, consciously, little. Everything seemed blurred, yellow-clouded, yielding not anything tangible. Her inept acrostics, maudlin evasions, theopathies—each recollection formed ripples of mysterious meaning. Everything regarded yellowly blurred, illusive, lost.”

This is the exceptional instance of acrostic fashioned in prose. It is a tale about a professor who believes that codes and concealed meanings wrapped in acrostics evoke the joys of discovery. Therefore, the first letters of every word within the very last paragraph of the textual content spells out a phrase, “Icicles by way of Cynthia; Meter from me, Sybil.” Although those words may additionally sound like nonsense if someone has no longer stumble upon the story, they're the keywords to interpret the tale’s mysterious plot.

Example #3

An Acrostic by way of Edgar Allan Poe

Elizabeth it's miles in useless you say
“Love no longer” — thou sayest it in so sweet a manner:
In vain the ones phrases from thee or L.E.L.
Zantippe’s abilties had enforced so well:
Ah! If that language from thy coronary heart arise,
Breath it less gently forth — and veil thine eyes.
Endymion, recollect, while Luna tried
To remedy his love — become cured of all beside —
His follie — pride — and passion — for he died.

This famous acrostic has been written through a famend American poet, Edgar Alan Poe in which he talks approximately love by the usage of the name, ELIZABETH as a word. The L. E. L within the third line might also talk over with an English poet, Letitia Elizabeth London, who is well-known for signing her works with these initials. The poem speaks about the love and merry-making of a couple. Poe has used acrostic fashion to demonstrate how maximum of the people locate desire in love.

Example #4

Acrostic in Cage’s Overpopulation and Art

                  abOut 1948 or 50 the number of people
          all at oncE
  equaled the numberR who had ever lived at any time all added together
                the Present as far as numbers
became equal to the Past
 we are now in the fUture
                   iT doubled
                has It qualrupled
            all we nOw
                   kNow for sure is
              the deAd
               are iN the minority
 they are outnumbereD by us who're living
                  whAt does this do to
    way of communicaTing...

This poem is a mesostic poem wherein key letters are positioned within the middle of each line. Cage, very skillfully, talks approximately the phenomenon of overpopulation on this long mesostic poem. He has used those formal strategies to show that during this overcrowding international the character is not the middle of social or aesthetic paperwork of enterprise in a digitalized global.

Acrostics Meaning and Function

It is used as a device to feature a brand new size to the texts. The writers, very artistically, transform a easy textual content into a phrase puzzle by means of permitting the target audience to interpret the hidden message of the textual content. Also, it enables the writers to project facts comically. However, it isn't always something comic. The writers purposefully choose this method to convey their thoughts, ideas, and messages. Also, the acrostic fashion makes poems easy to remember. This conventional style of poetry is extensively exercised in youngsters literature to make mastering a laugh for them.

Accumulation Active Voice