Monday, April 11, 2011

Poetry Following the Alphabet

April 11, 2011 "Poetry surrounds us everywhere, but putting it on paper is, alas, not so easy as looking at it." Vincent Van Gogh

I saw a poem once that used only words in alphabetical order, one word per letter of the alphabet. I have worked at writing a poem with this structure often, and also had students do it. In addition to personal inspiration, I believe poetry is basically word work, yet that word work is such a challenge. Finding just the word one wants to communicate a feeling is not easy, as this structure is not easy. But it's been fun to try. Since I love birds and bird watching, I thought I'd write about them.

Alphabetical Aves

Amazing Birds, Cerulean-Dazed, Elegantly-Feathered, Geometrically-Hatched—

Ibis, Junco, Killdeer, Lark, Magpie, Nutcracker, Oriole, Pigeon, Quail—

Random Selection Tallied Under Various Walkabouts--

Xylophonic Yammering Zealots!


  1. Awesome Bird Composition, Describing Eloquently, Fowl Gazing Habits...okay, far enough for me! Nice job on the alphabetical aves!

  2. What an incredible idea. I will have to give this some thought. Your poem captured so much. Thanks for sharing.

  3. What a beautiful poem. I can see how challenging that must be. I'd have to get very familiar with the end of my dictionary. :) Nicely done!

  4. Very cool, I may have to play with this structure someday. BTW - in Australia I was taking a picture of an ibis and a lady said, "You must be a tourist, these are a pest here."


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