When I am teaching poetry I often start off with an acrostic poem. We do easy ones that begin with the students names and allow them to tell me things about themselves. It’s a good ice breaker and it gets them familiar with the poetic form right off the bat. An acrostic is a poem that spells one word vertically and then uses the first letter on each line for a line in the poem. So if I were doing an acrostic ice breaker with my name, I might do something like this:

Sometimes a little bit scatterbrained
Usually reading or more books at a time
Stressed out when there is too much noise
Always wishing there were more hours in the day
Never going to stop believing in my dreams

Now that’s not much of a poem but you get the idea.

Here’s a draft of one I did tonight with the word hummingbird. It’s not a great poem yet but it’s a nice way of getting my brain churning around on some ideas. And here’s another thing about acrostics, sometimes they are a good way to get a rough draft of a poem down and then you can take the phrases and play with them until you come up with a poem in another form that you like even better.

High off the ground(not really)
Under scraggly leaves
Mama knits a nest and
Mends it daily with garden gifts she
Ignores my visits (not really)
Needlenose beak tipped high in the air
Grand dame of the toyon tree with
Babies not yet born her
Iridescent feathers fan a
Rainbow blanket she
Decides I have seen enough for now.

Your turn.