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An Abecedarian Poetry Challenge By Ann Carr: My Response

Poetry is one of Lori's favorite ways to share memories, to express feelings, and share what inspires her, so others might be inspired.


Our very own Ann Carr recently offered yet another challenge, who was likewise challenged by Verlie Burroughs in what is called Abecedarian Poetry.

According to the, Abecedarian Poetry is an ancient poetic form guided by alphabetical order. Generally, each line or stanza begins with the first letter of the alphabet and is followed by the successive letter, until the final letter is reached. The real challenge is to use each letter of the alphabet for each word. I thought it was lovely and thought I'd give it a shot but it doesn't look easy. I am going for two and we'll see how it goes.

Sue Walker says the Abecedarian is "an alphabetical excursion."1 I love it!

The abecedarian wears many costumes and dresses itself up as a sonnet, a sestina, as novel, as story, and is limited only by the imagination."

— Sue Walker

I'll Start With My Favorite Dessert

I have a passion for chocolate eclairs. Not just any chocolate eclairs, but ones from a particular bakery my girlfriends Nancy, Susan, and I travel to nearly every year for our birthdays. As a plug, the name of the establishment is Butcher and Baker Provisions in Port Gamble Washington if you're ever in the area. Why are they more special? They are huge, freshly baked, and HEAVY with custard inside and a thick coat of chocolate on the outside. Whip cream does not belong in an eclair. I'll eat it if there's no other choice, but custard is far superior.

I will throw in some images. This poem doesn't do them justice because only the angels could adequately describe them.

My Very First Taste Test

perfection absolue - absolute perfection!

perfection absolue - absolute perfection!

French Choclate Eclair

Angelically blissful chocolate delight.

éclair fit-for-the-gods, gloriously heaven-sent.

Inspirational jubilation, killer lusciousness.

Melt-in-your-mouth, over-the-top, patisserie.

Quintessentially rapturous, supremely tasty,

unbelievably voluptuous with xenial,2 yielding zippity-doo-da-day.

Nancy, Susan, and Lori at the Bakery

Abecedearian Poem by Line

Here is a form of Abecedarian poetry where each line is ordered by the next letter in the alphabet. It was much easier to write, but still a challenge. I took great pleasure in writing this. My inspiration was the sound of the summer rain, which is intoxicating to me. I remember once being at the library on a summer day. It was quiet as people were out doing summer things. Suddenly I heard the most blissful sound - a sweet summer rain. I stopped and stood still in my tracks right in the middle of the building and just listened for a few short moments. I felt God's presence, I felt the sacredness of that bit of refreshment from the heavens. Thus I write about it.

Summer Rain

Afternoon, this summer day, it rains.

Beautiful sound of mizzle graces my ears,

Courting my senses to Shangri-la.

Daring, I stop to listen,

Even while the world passes by.

Fluently, the shower whispers on summer leaves;

Gently, it irrigates dry gardens;

Heavenly refreshment for birds in their baths.

Inspired, I chance to explore,

Kneeling to observe droplets on a rose.

Lushness is lavished on the grasses

Making barefoot walks a soft cool pleasure.

Now, this simple bliss today

Opened my eyes to what really matters -

Praising God for His wondrous works.

Quenched thirst, now, is the earth and my soul.

Requite I must to the Creator,

Simple gratitude is my offering.

Tears of joy mingle with drops from eternity,

Unlike those caused by tragedy or sorrow.

Vitality has been restored to a parched earth,

Wence comes inspiration and impetus.

Xylophones tinkled today, played by angels,

Yet manifested as pitter-patter in a breath of breeze,

Zephyrs of sweetness to our spirits.

"Heavenly refreshment for birds in their baths."

"Heavenly refreshment for birds in their baths."

A Delightful Alphabetic Excursion

I've had great difficulty writing poetry this past year. I did manage a couple but relatively, it's been a dry year for me. When this challenge came up the dam broke open wide. This form of poetry is new to me and it was a challenge but I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. It's not exceptional, but I was able to express myself and that's what poetry, and writing in any form is all about. I love Sue Walker's reference to Abecedarian poetry as "an alphabetic excursion." Thank you, Ann Carr, for inviting me on this excursion. You are a garden of inspiration.


1 Negative Capability Press Poetry, Blog & Interviews. Sue Walker: Would You, Could You Actually Write an Abecedarian? March 21, 2015.

2 Xenial - hospitable, especially to visiting strangers or foreigners. Of the relation between a host and guest; friendly.

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