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Acrostic Poems

Acrostic poems? Sure. Here are some samples. 

Custom acrostic poems cost Scrabble value times $15. LINDA is worth six Scrabble points, so an acrostic on Linda would be $90.

Barbara Naidoff as a Woman of Valor:

B ring out your fairest pearl of subtlest hue!
A h, yours is no match for the one I bear,
R ound to perfection, treasured in my breast.
B eyond all measuring, mine is the best;
A dmired not merely in that she is fair,
R ather that she is capable and true,
A vessel cruising through the turbulent sea.

N o! For she chops and dices, whips and slices,
A ffairs of household manages with style;
I n judgement sound she stocks the family store,
D eposits plenty so that winter hoar --
O ld winter with his chill blasts -- is no trial
F or us her cosy brood. I laugh at crisis,
F or oh! that vessel sets its course toward me.

Barbara Naidoff as a Woman of Valor--2

And here's another on the same subject. Note how the beginning of the fifth line from the end, "I doff," is the acrostic for the last five lines. Nifty, huh?

B eyond the price of rubies, treasured dear,
A nd pearls -- who would not value such a wife,
(R ich is her virtue in this spinning sphere)
B ringing provisions from afar, the knife
A nd needle wielding skilfully. No fear
R uffles in winter's chill her family life;
A head for business steers her fast career.

N ow her man tastes respect at city gate
A s she toils at the accounts, early and late.
I doff my hat in reverence to her worth,
D on it again, being (after all) a Jew.
O happy thought, to embrace her slender girth
F lexible, yet her spirit always true.
F ind such another if you can, oh do!

For the bat mitzvah of Olivia Berry Seagle, Shabbat Chayei Sarah

O ld beyond years, she died. Through time and space
L eft off her travelling, with no place to rest.
I magine Abraham, weeping at her side
V eiling her lifeless face, uneasy guest
I n land not his, not home -- too tired to pace
A gain his weary road: "So ends my stride,
B uying a field and cave for Sarah's place."

E phron the Hittite sold in public view
R est in a dry cave for the first dead Jew,
R oots in a field her offspring to renew.

Y ears passed since Abraham paid the asking price,
S et down four hundred shekels carefully weighed.
E phron gave him the deed, released all claim --
A story of fair business and precise
G oodwill. Would that such dealings were displayed
L ong after those originals, that again
E phron and Abraham in peace might trade.

To Sara, The Swimmer

Written for the bat mitzvah of Sara E. Armstrong

The poet pictures Sara as a mermaid poised between the familiar depths of the embosoming sea and the adventure of land.

"The whole earth is a narrow bridge, and the important thing is to have no fear." - Reb Nachman of Bratslav

S itting upon a rock washed by the sea
A nd warmed by the kind sun, a mermaid combs
R inglets, shedding salty drops like tears
A nd gazes toward cliffs studded with homes.

"E arth's not for me, for I am of the sea.
"A mermaid's life is tranquil; where she roams
"R ain and wind trouble not. Free of fears,
"M ermaids play in man's sunken pleasure domes.

"S eems like the earth's a narrow strip of land:
"T urning nor right nor left, the human race
"R estlessly, fearfully, . . . . shrink from the moist sand;
"O h, dare I join them in their timid pace?"

N arrow is the bridge we walk, but persevere:
G o forward, Sara, forward without fear!

In honor of Derilynn Proffitt's reaching a significant birthday:

D are I face the mirror
E ach morning when I rise?
R adiance turns to wrinkles,
I nspiring hopes to sighs.

L eave off this vain reflection!
Y outh was naive, it's clear.
N ow, age brings wise affection
N ew with each passing year.

In honor of Mandy Garver:

Hearing that Mandy's husband reads one of the SPS Bircon's poetic interpretations of Eshet Chayil each Friday night, the poet is moved to compose an acrostic for her.

M ake way, now, Deborah! Roll over, Ruth!
A  valiant woman's come to take your place
N ear to my heart, where dwells the bloom of youth.

D o you see? Wisdom is written in her face
Y ielding a quiet power in every sphere
G ained with respect, wielded with subtle grace.

A s children from their mother learn no fear
R ivka rode far to bring a race to life,
V oracious beasts did Daniel's faith revere.

E asily schussing down the slopes of life,
R ejoice in Mandy, such a mom and wife.

How about some for the men? Here's one for Allen Wolf , on his 37th birthday:
The Eurasthenian Sieve

The poet conceives of life as a rushing river which the poem's subject navigates with confidence, facing the future without fear and remembering the past with affection, even as the past grows in proportion to the future, and he encourages the poem's subject to continue his confident voyage through the vicissitudes of life, and he salutes the poem's subject in the following acrostic fashion:

A s age advances, what is left behind --
L ong cherished memories of times you laughed,
L uminous wake of evanescent foam --
E nchants the voyager whose view is aft.
N ow, Allen, look ahead and steer your craft 
W hich bears you toward the Eurasthenian Sieve.[1]
O ld times tempt you to lie awake and dote;
L ife's River[2] rushes on; Man de[3] lifeboat;
F etter your fear (Dam the yell[4]) -- and Live!

1. I thought this might sound like something apocalyptic from physics or philosophy. Anyway, it rhymes with live. I made it up.
2. A reference to daughter Rivka.
3. A reference to esteemed spouse Mandy.
4. This was a real tough one: Dam the yell (i.e., hold it in, in case you want to yell in apprehension, which Allen wouldn't anyway) -- a reference to son Daniel.

For our next effort, we celebrate David Armstrong's 50th birthday:

The poet attempts to bring cheer to an aging person, but fails miserably. He contemplates the paucity of human achievement and the infirmities of age, and invites the reader to engage in a futile battle against time.

D o you sometimes feel . . . life slips away
A nd leaves no lasting pattern in the sand?
V ain are the foam and froth of youthful day;
I n vain we snatch at time to turn and stand?

D awning and noon our colors brilliant flame,
A rm strong (yet sensitive) wields brush or wrench;
R apid decay turns earnest plan to game,
M asks the sweet spring with rotting autumn stench.

S tay! Let not your rotund good cheer wear thin;
T o blank depression yield not. Aching back,
R heumatic joints, invasive medicine —
O ld age and his companions mark the skin.
N oone has yet made time stop in his track;
G o on, though: challenge him. Perhaps you'll win.

Another effort on the same subject:

D ive into air: to enter a life's span,
A mazed, discomfited, thrust from the home —
V ictim of others' pleasure or their plan —
I nto the world, a shadowy path to roam.

D estined are some for greatness, length of days,
A rm strong, or intellect of brilliant light
R efracted into multicolored rays —
M ust all be quenched at last in sable night.

S tanding upon a peak of life, with far
T o go, and many pinnacles behind,
R ecalling heights, and wondering if there are
O utcrops of joy to come, of equal kind . . . 

N o matter if the journey rocky be:
G o forth in cheer toward your century.

Another 50th birthday sample . . .

To Len Wanetik, on his maturity:

L eo leaps forward, eager lion, to
E ach opportunity on life's broad hill –
O sunny disposition, with a view
N o daybreak cloud can mar with sudden chill!

A ge teaches caution, and the friendly cub 
R ecoils in wiser years from foolish play:  
D emands of knowledge and possession scrub 
W ith vigor youth's fond thoughtlessness away.

A s the bright sun, which heralds every morn 
N ew minted, bows before the pale moon's rise, 
E ven so must the groom's rented tux, once worn, 
T urn tail before the dark suit of the wise.
I n time is reckless youthful predilection 
K ept under rein by mature circumspection.

The reference to the tux recalls the subject's wedding day, which involved considerable trouble getting the right size in time.