Acrostic


Those who do puzzles I assume know this word. When I came across it, the word sounded only vaguely familiar. I read this definition,  “A composition, often in verse, in which a set of letters spell out a word, a word group, or part of the alphabet.”

I would never think of writing this way, but nevertheless found it fascinating.  Apparently 12 biblical psalms are written acrostically, with  the 119th psalm being thought of as particularly “ingenious.”

I have never pulled the psalm apart in this fashion. If you have, I’d love to hear from you. Or comment too if you have any other examples of acrostic writing,  yours or someone else’s. How many of us are “with it” on acrostics?

Is it meant to be only a clever game or is there something meditative about it? In other words, what is the point, the purpose, or is it just how some minds work?

5 thoughts on “Acrostic

  1. Carole Webber December 6, 2013 / 2:55 pm

    Acrostics can be found generally on the NY Times Sunday crossword puzzle page. If you are familiar with the obscure quote they usually use, it is easy, most of the time, however, it is impossible for me. My stepfather always did them in ink ! showoff…

    • fictionfitz December 6, 2013 / 5:24 pm

      Don’t think he would have been my favorite grandfather.

  2. jhvn December 6, 2013 / 5:06 pm

    The popular word, AFLO – Another Freakin’ Learning Opportunity – is an acrostic, as is SNAFU,– Situation Normal, All Fouled Up. Probably AFLAK is too, but I don’t know it.

    Like any literary form such as a sonnet, or a Limerick, some folks have found meaning in using them. Others not. You might try writing an acrostic poem and see what happens.

    A quick Google search yielded some fascinating info on the Hebrew Alphabet and the deeper meaning of using all 22 Hebrew letters to start verses of psalms. See http://www.biblicalhebrew.com/alphabet.htm .In some Jewish mystic traditions all the letters have hidden meanings, which add depth to the acrostic psalms.

    • fictionfitz December 6, 2013 / 5:22 pm

      What a terrific web site you found, thank you. I shall read more tonight or tomorrow. Might even make it into my paper.

  3. New Hampshire Garden Solutions December 6, 2013 / 7:23 pm

    I worked for people once who used to give me their NY Time Magazines. I used to think the acrostic puzzels were really interesting but each one I saw had already been done, so I didn’t have to work at it very hard.

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