Let's all agree from the start that these posts will be works-in-progress. I'll add to them, edit them, and revisit them, likely as I post on MFAyyye or as resources become available.
But let's start with the Abecedarian.
a·be·ce·dar·i·an/ˌābēsēˈderēən/adjective1. arranged alphabetically."in abecedarian sequence"2. rudimentary; elementary."abecedarian technology"noun1. a person who is just learning; a novice.
I like it because it's a form but also a person who is learning and more and more that's how I think of every piece of wrting, a place of learning and play.The abecedarian is simple: Your first line should start with A and with every line (or stanza, you decide) you must move through the alphabet in order. Put another way, if I read your poem down the left margin, I should see the alphabet in order.This may sound rudimentary and, I guess, in some ways it is. But it is NOT easy.Check out these brilliant examples:
- Souvenirs: An Abecedarian Essay by Tammy Delatorre
- Son of Mr. Green Jeans: An Essay on Fatherhood, Alphabetically Arranged by Dinty W. Moore
- Abecedarian Requiring Further Examination of Anglikan Seraphym Subjugation of a Wild Indian Rezervation by Natalie Diaz
- The Grains of Ascendancy: An Abecedarian by Lillian-Yvonne Bertram (You can see the poet the their poem here.)
- in lieu of a poem, i'd like to say Danez Smith (link includes a recording of the poet reading the poem.
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