Poetry. Writerly Advice. Memoir. Literary Analysis. Book Reviews. Serious Snark.
DEFINITION: A poem guided by the alphabet. Each line or stanza begins with the first letter of the alphabet followed by each letter following, until the last letter is reached. Variations of the form occur.
ORIGIN: An ancient poetic form that was commonly used to compose letters, prayers, and hymns. The modern literary world relies on this form for children's books, mnemonic devices and lullabies (think Edward Gorey and Dr. Seuss).
RHYME PATTERN: Varies. Contemporary abecedarian poetry doesn't rhyme, but there are clear metrical relationships. Children's versions often rhyme and are very sing-songy.
EXAMPLES: John Disch's Abecedary, Carolyn Forché's Blue Hour, Edward Gorey, Dr. Seuss, and Mary Jo Bang's The Bride of E