Poetic Forms Poetic Forms    

Lesson 21: Acrostic: For My Grand-Daughters, M. and L.

by Mary Ann Bigelow

lesson image

Mary and Lily—how sweet are those names,

Allied as they are to my heart and my home;

Recalling with freshness the days that are past,

Yielding buds of sweet promise for days yet to come.

Links are these names to the chain that hath bound

In fetters my heart, to which still they lay claim;

Loved ones and lovely, still close by me found,

Years past, and time present, whose names are the same.

Enshrined in this bosom, is living one now,

Still youthful and truthful, and talented too,

Though years have elapsed since she passed from our view;

E'en in Summer midst roses in beauty and bloom,

She faded away, and was borne to the tomb.

    Poetic Forms Poetic Forms    

Lesson 21: Acrostic: For My Grand-Daughters, M. and L.

by Mary Ann Bigelow


Study the poem for one week.

Over the week:

  • Read the poem each day.
  • Review the synopsis.
  • Read about the poetic form.
  • Complete the enrichment activities.


The next poetic form we'll study is called the acrostic. Acrostic poems have secret messages hidden in them. Particular letters, often the first letter of each line, spell out a word reflecting the meaning of the poem. What is the secret message hidden in "For My Grand-Daughters, M. and L." by Mary Ann H.T. Bigelow?


Poems often adhere to specific poetic forms, defined as 'poems following distinct sets of rules.'

The nine poetic forms we'll study include the:

  1. Sijo: A lyrical Korean poetic form of three long lines.
  2. Haiku: A Japanese poem of three lines and a total of seventeen syllables.
  3. Limerick: A humorous poem of five lines and the rhyming scheme AABBA, typically having syllables of 9–9–6–6–9.
  4. Sonnet: A poetic form of fourteen lines that follow one of a few common rhyming schemes.
  5. Epitaph: A poem honoring the deceased, engraved on a burial marker or tomb.
  6. Acrostic: A poem where particular letter spell out a secret message, often the first letter of each line.
  7. Visual
  8. Ode
  9. Blank Verse

Acrostics follow these rules:

  1. Particular letters in the poem spell out a secret message
  2. The letters are arranged in some pattern or by some rule that when known, can reveal the message
  3. The pattern is commonly all of the first letter or all the last letters in order of appearance


Activity 1: Recite the Poem Title, Poet Name, and Poem

  • Each day this week, recite aloud the title of the poem, the name of the poet, and the poem.

Activity 2: Study the Poem Picture

Study the poem picture and describe how it relates to the poem.

Activity 3: Narrate the Poem

  • After reading the poem, narrate the poem events aloud using your own words.

Activity 4: Complete Book Activities   

  • Click the crayon above, and complete page 24 of 'Elementary Poetry 6: Poetic Forms.'


  1. Bigelow, Mary Ann. The Kings and Queens of England and Other Poems. Gutenberg. www.gutenberg.org/files/14955/14955-h/14955-h.htm.