acrostic

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acrostic

(əkrŏ`stĭk), arrangement of words or lines in which a series of initial, final, or other corresponding letters, when taken together, stand in a set order to form a word, a phrase, the alphabet, or the like. A famous acrostic was made on the Greek for Jesus Christ, God's Son, Savior: Iesous Christos, Theou Uios, Soter (ch and th being each one letter in Greek). The initials spell ichthus, Greek for fish; hence the frequent use of the fish by early Christians as a symbol for Jesus. There are several alphabetic acrostics (pertaining to the Hebrew alphabet) in the Bible, e.g., in Ps. 119 and LamentationsLamentations,
book of the Bible, placed immediately after Jeremiah, to whose author it has been ascribed since ancient times. It was probably composed by several authors. It is a series of five poems mourning the destruction of Jerusalem by Babylon.
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. Acrostic verses are common, and very elaborate puzzles have been devised combining several schemes.

Acrostic

 

a poem in which the first letter of each line forms a word or phrase when read from the top downward. Acrostics originated in ancient Greek poetry and are found in Russian poetry from the 17th century onward. Poems in which a word is formed from the last letter of each line (telestic) or the middle letter (mesostic) occur less frequently. The sonnet “To Valerii Briusov” by M. Kuzmin is an acrostic. The first three lines read:

Voluminous waves direct their surf
At cliffs that still stand firm.
Lo! An eagle flies past the pitiful sights . . .   

acrostic

a. a number of lines of writing, such as a poem, certain letters of which form a word, proverb, etc. A single acrostic is formed by the initial letters of the lines, a double acrostic by the initial and final letters, and a triple acrostic by the initial, middle, and final letters
b. the word, proverb, etc., so formed
c. (as modifier): an acrostic sonnet
References in periodicals archive ?
The students traded "folios" and wrote a "positive acrostic poem," using their partner's first name.
After defining and giving examples of acrostic poems, the story inspires young poets to try their hands at a fun style of poetry.
Pauline, a grandmother-of-two, loves acrostic poems and wrote out 67 of them as parting gifts to her staff.
The acrostic poems of Lamentations in Greek translation.
Individual articles discuss puns, loanwords, foreign words, foreign signs, the use of foreign alphabets, the effect of new alphabets back and forth with traditional ones, and acrostic poems with subversive messages.
Among others, Letters to the World contains modernist poems (Louise Mathias, "Desert Flux;" Margaret Ricketts, "The Mountain, the Mayfly"), prose poems (Julia Spicher Kasdorf, "Poetry in America," 219), acrostic poems (Paula Bohince, "Acrostic: Queen Anne's Lace," 72), Beat poems (Eloise Klein Healy, "So the Teacher Jumped Up on the Desk," 193), verbal-visual poems (Shin Yu Pai, "it does body good," 292), and language writing (Cynthia Parker-Ohene, "Weather Report," 297).
Living in a world whose order has been disrupted, the poet constructs his order by the orderly progression of the Hebrew letters in the primarily acrostic poems.
This book, through its collection of 17 acrostic poems, blends information and storytelling.
Year 4 teacher Andrew Thorogood said: "In keeping with the focus of our Harvest Festival being based around the importance of water, the children wrote acrostic poems using the word water.