ABECEDARIAN is an ancient poetic form based on alphabetical order. Generally, the first line begins with the first letter of the alphabet and subsequent lines begin with successive letters until the final letter is reached.  My friend Chevvy wrote a really impressive one last spring; click HERE to read it.  Mine is a simple list compiled from the pages of my gratitude journal.  Try one!  What inspires YOU?



Autumn, Apple Butter, Aurora Borealis
Blizzards, Baby animals, Baking cookies
Cloud formations, Candles in windows
Dandelion puffs, Dreams remembered
Earth and Echoes and Earflaps on hats
Farm markets, Fireflies, Freckled Faces
God, Gratitude, Guacamole with chips
Handwritten letters and Happy endings
Inner vision, Imagination, and Insanity
Jazz saxophones, Java, and Journaling
Karma coming full circle, playing Kazoo
Libraries, Life Lessons, and Loving arms
Muses, Memory, the Moon when it’s full
Nature, Naptime, and a New Notebook
Orchid blossoms, Oldsters with attitude
Pet antics, Prompts, and Practical jokes
Quiet mornings, Quilts stitched by hand
Rainbows and Random Acts of Kindness
Serendipity, Syncopation, Street Music
Teachers, Time alone, Thunderstorms
Underdog victories and Ugly Umbrellas
Volkswagen Busses that go Vroooom!
Wonder, Wood smoke, Window seats
X on a treasure map, XXX’s and OOO’s
Yoga in motion, Yakking with my sister
Zinnias flanking the Zigzag path of life

Have a comment?  Click HERE to share it!

21 thoughts on “EL-EM-EN-OH-PEE!

  1. chevvy8 March 5, 2017 / 1:46 am

    Thanks for the shout out Joan. I see a number of potential titles for a poem here.

    I’m sure each of these words has special meaning for you. I’ve picked out a few that resonate with me. Dreams Remembered are those which have changed the course of my life – I think they’re called EPIC dreams and I can remember the detail I had over 16 years ago. Hand written letters for sure. I once had penpals in different parts of the world and that’s how my husband and I communicated in a long distance relationship – the whole process of writing, posting and awaiting a reply was part of the excitement.

    Jazz saxophones – I’m right there with you! Serendipity – that word just wraps itself around me😀 New notebook – the smell of it and lovely smooth texture paper – YESSS! Time alone – how I need that right now! Underdog victories – gives me great satisfaction. Zinnias – happy days as a child with the blooms of the first garden I planted. Amazing how words can trigger such thought and memory. I’ve dropped you a mail.

    Have a lovely Sunday!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan March 5, 2017 / 4:38 pm

      Thanks, Chev, for your beautiful comment! I often send letters by snail mail… I like sending them and think others like receiving them, because they are such a rarity. I wonder how many have been re-read, folded and unfolded, saved in a treasure box? Jazz Sax is a given. Serendipity revealed itself late in life, but turned me into a believer. I like plain, ordinary new notebooks–less intimidating than fancy, but wide open with possibility. My favorite underdog victory? Watch the movie COOL RUNNINGS. Zinnia buds have the most beautiful way of opening into flowers, from orbs of multi-colored scales to full-fledged pom-poms over a period of days. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • chevvy8 March 5, 2017 / 11:23 pm

        I can see that you have given these careful thought and that they are close to your heart. I’ll look out for Cool Runnings.😀

        Liked by 1 person

  2. K E Garland March 6, 2017 / 5:06 pm

    Oh dear. Was this a challenging one? I ask because, well, it looks like it would be challenging for me lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan March 6, 2017 / 8:06 pm

      Thanks, KE. My Abecedarian poem is just a simple list where a few letters pose a challenge (J, K, Q, X, Z). It’s far more difficult to bend phrases or sentences to fit this form. Click the link in the first paragraph to view Chevvy’s poem and you’ll see what I mean. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. L. T. Garvin, Author March 6, 2017 / 9:11 pm

    What a well crafted list poem. I see we agree on many things, including, but not limited to: guacamole, libraries, nap time and zinnias 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. circumstance227 March 11, 2017 / 4:01 pm

    I wrote one of these during my first year of college (at the time I didn’t know it was an ancient form!) I added a couplet at the end. Here it is:

    College Co-ed
    Expect Emotional Education.
    Freshman feelings – fearing
    Guessing games,
    Infinite introductions,
    Liars, little
    Men marking
    Roommates revealing
    Stifled sobs
    Through tearstrain tracks.
    Uttering useless
    Vows –
    Wasted words
    Yearning yields to

    Now I know my ABC’s.
    Someday I’ll outgrow this disease.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Just Joan March 11, 2017 / 5:19 pm

      I totally love it, especially the aplomb with which the tougher letters are handled! My emotional education in college was strikingly similar to yours. I especially remember homesickness (I said I had “allergies”), kissing, and roommate revelations.
      PS: Abecedarianism is a disease you never really outgrow. 🙂


    • The Older and Wiser Sister March 14, 2017 / 8:52 am

      Yes! I finally made it to your blog! “Yakking with my sister”… that’s me! Wooohooo! Love you, sis!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Just Joan March 14, 2017 / 4:09 pm

        Yes, indeedy, that is you! One of my life’s greatest inspirations. LOVE YOU, SIS!

        Liked by 1 person

      • circumstance227 March 15, 2017 / 5:03 pm

        Can I just add here that this message confused the heck out of me until I realized that it was Joan’s sister who was writing and not my own? I kind of figured it out and was planning to write and correct the situation – but I see now that you two have connected. Glad to know that – sisters are the greatest! And to the Older and Wiser one – I, too, made the mistake of hitting the wrong “Reply” button many times at the start of my blogging career.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Just Joan March 15, 2017 / 5:50 pm

        Yep, one of those things I’ve done many times, to the confusion of many commenters. 🙂


  5. indysligo October 25, 2017 / 4:22 pm

    I like it! Now the next challenge is to mix it up a bit – use the ABCDarian (alphabet acrostic? I didn’t realize there was an official term. I think I like it better than my made-up term.) and mix it with another form. Perhaps a rhyming form with a meter (not necessarily iambic-pentameter, but similar with fewer beats)?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan October 25, 2017 / 4:57 pm

      There are always ways to mix it up and boost the difficulty factor. I wish you had a search box on your site so I could seek out particular forms and see how you approached them. You’re the only poet I’ve met yet, here or in person, who does what I do… a little bit of everything. 🙂
      Oh, hey, I just went to your site and there IS a search box now… Thanks for that. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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