ABC poems

Alphabet Poems

The alphabet poem (sometimes called an ABC poem) is similar to the acrostic but, as its name suggests, it uses the letters of the alphabet in order.  It can be restrictive to follow exactly, but is great to use with children and is useful as an idea to get started having fun with poems, so I have provided some ideas to make it easier to use. 

Don’t use all of the alphabet

Keep your alphabet poem short and just use a section of the alphabet. It can be difficult to keep going for the full alphabet, whereas just a few letters can flow more naturally.

An Alphabet poem,
By definition,
Every letter’s position.

Make the alphabetical element a highlighted letter within each line, rather than the initial letter.

For example, this is an excerpt from my alphabet poem AN ALPHABETICAL INVASION….

Beware of the Amphin who is prone to eat anything that should be worn on your feet
Likewise there is danger when Brones are around for they can attack from their home in the ground.
Crumlins are harmless in contrast to these.  Their only bad habits are swinging in trees
And causing mischief to the sweet Dumberlings who flutter by gracefully using their wings.

This idea is particularly non-restrictive because the alphabetical element of the poem is completely made up words:  something mythical or imaginary  (ie monster or alien names etc) gives much more scope to fit in with the rest of the poem, and to include lots of imagination and descriptive language. (If it is a rhyming poem a made up word may help there too)

Combine the Alphabet Poem and List form…

Make the alphabetical element a highlighted letter in each line rather than the initial letter.

For example, this is an excerpt from my World War Two alphabet poem…..


Air raid shelters, damp and black

Bombs exploding, back to back

Children crying, adults too

Down the cellar – after you”

Evacuees on the train

Farewells said in pouring rain

Gone to live in some strange place

Hoping for a friendly face……

This makes it easier to achieve the restrictive first letter format, as sentence structure is not as crucial. It can therefore help to achieve a more concise wording for the poem.

If you would like to see examples of my alphabet poems, you will find them under the category POEM FORMS and the sub heading ALPHABET POEMS.  Many of my poems will, of course, come under several different categories above, but they are duplicated deliberately so that you can find them by whichever means you need to use them.  Poems are also listed alphabetically in the POEM INDEX by title.