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Abecedarian Poem


An abecedarian poem is a special form of an acrostic poem, in which the initial letters of the words beginning each line or stanza spell out the alphabet in order.

Psalm 119 is one of the earliest famous abecedarian poems, the song arranged in sections according to the letters of the Hebrew alphabet, each of which is featured in its own section. Geoffrey Chaucer’s “An ABC” is an abecedarian poem based on his translation of a prayer to the Virgin Mary in Guillaume de Deguileville’s allegorical poem Pèlerinage de la Vie Humaine (Pilgrimage of Human Life).


We have a couple of examples of poems written in abecedarian form in our library here at About Poetry:

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