Saturday, 5 November 2011


One of the recent tasks in our writers' group was to write an acrostic in three minutes. What's an acrostic? Well, what you do is choose a word and write it vertically down the page. Then from each letter you write a word or line horizontally, with the aim of describing the vertical word. So if I wrote a very basic acrostic for Harvey I could say something like this:


Here you can read more about acrostics, their use in mnemonics, poetry and coded messages. The thing is, once you start playing with acrostics they soon become addictive! Try it. It's fun!


Old Kitty said...

I'm trying to remember the one for the colours of the rainbow.. erm... something about doing battle in vain... erm! Well that's no good! LOL! At the most I remember the last three colours of the rainbow!

Anyway!! Your Harvey one is just perfect!

Take care

BECKY said...

Ooh, this does sound fun, addictive, and a very good writer's challenge! I've seen these before but never heard the word "acrostics."
And how wonderfully you've described beautiful Harvey! I really will try this. This would be fun as a blog meme...Maybe you could start one!?
Thanks for sharing this, Joanne!

joanne fox said...

Old Kitty, isn't it something about Richard of York?

Thank you, Becky. It is a good exercise actually. Hope you enjoy trying it out!

Joanna said...

Than you, Joanne. This looks like a lovely exercise. I have never come across this before. Acrostics is a fabulous word too.

And that is a beautiful picture of Harvey. He is completely gorgeous. I could just do with cuddling him right now!

joanne fox said...


Teresa Ashby said...

Harvey is beautiful and very deserving of his acrostic!
I have been playing around with acrostics since reading your post, but haven't some up with anything! It's more difficult than it looks :-)

Patsy said...

Richard of York got buried in Venezuela? No, I don't think that can be right.

Your acrostic perfectly fits the picture of Harvey.

Frances Garrood said...

Richard of york gave battle in vain (Kitty)?

joanne fox said...

Teresa, yes it is quite hard, depending really on what letters you have in your vertical word.

Patsy, almost there, but I think Frances's version is the one usually quoted!

Dream it, then do it said...

At Trowell Writers' Club we're often given these for an exercise but we have to turn them into a poem. I've never managed it but we have some clever wordsmiths who can turn one out in a few minutes.
Frances is absolutely correct (show off) but I like Patsy's version.

joanne fox said...

I think it might get easier with practice. If I keep trying Harvey may have a whole poem eventually!

bazza said...

In the electronics industry there is a Mnemonic for the colour-coding on resistors: Brave Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain equalling one to eight with the addition of Black for zero and white for nine. Until this moment I never noticed it related to the rainbow! Thank you Harvey!
Click here for Bazza’s Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

joanne fox said...

I didn't know that Bazza, thanks!

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Love the photo of Harvey and the acrostic to go with it! The only time I ever tried this was with a poem for New Year many years ago - must search that out to see how awful it is.

joanne fox said...

You may surprise yourself with its brilliance, Rosemary!

Anonymous said...

Hi Joanne,
A friend of my Mum's used to send birthday cards with a poem spelling out another message downwards, didn't know it was called acrostic though. Harvey is the cutest. Doggie biscuit through the computer.

joanne fox said...

Oh how clever!

Harvey says thanks for the biccie.

Suzanne Jones said...

This looks like terrific fun, must have a go.

Harvey is a very handsome boy.


joanne fox said...

He knows it, Suzanne!