Abecedarium (or Abecedarius): Poetic Forms

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The rules for the abecedarium (or abecedarius) are pretty simple. It’s an acrostic form that uses a different letter of the alphabet, in order, for the beginning of each line. Also, may also fall under the umbrella of alphabet poetry.


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.


Here’s my attempt at an Abecedarium poem:

“Basic,” by Robert Lee Brewer

An acrostic poem
begins with letters
creating structure and
determining how the poem
evolves over time. As
for an abecedarium, the
goal is to let the alphabet
hang out along the left and
inch down one letter at a time.
Just a simple trick shows poets
know how to say their ABCs and
lets readers anticipate the
multitude of possible words
needed to continue the
obligatory forced line breaks and
passage of one letter to the next.
Question the validity of the
rewards for this form if you wish;
still, it’s popular for a reason.
The challenge of making it continue
under the constraints of the alphabet
validates many poets in their pursuit
with the understanding that ABC leads to

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