Hating the "F" Word (Failure): More Abecedarian Poetry

Updated on August 6, 2019
Jodah profile image

John is a freelance writer, ghostwriter, storyteller, and poet. He always tries to include a message or social commentary in his writing

Image by Rubén M. i Santos from Pixabay
Image by Rubén M. i Santos from Pixabay | Source

Inspiration and Challenge

Fellow poet Verlie Burroughs (Snakeslane) recently brought the "abecedarian" form of poetry to my attention in her collection The Road Home Poems and the poem titled A Beach Chirpy Dawn.

Then another wonderful writer Ann Carr (annart) issued a challenge in her article Abecedarian Poetry: What Is It? Origins and Some Examples for other poets to write an abecedarian poem using any one letter from the alphabet to begin each word and write at least two verses about any subject. I did that for my second poem but it was quite random and I wasn't entirely happy with it, so I decided to write another using every letter of the alphabet in order to begin each line, hence: Hating the "F" Word (Failure.)

* The abecedarian 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. (source: poets.org)

However, like with many forms of poetry there seems to be a number of variants. Sometimes, all words in the poem begin with the same letter of the alphabet, other times each word begins with the next letter of the alphabet until all 26 letters from A to Z are used. Or like my first example, it can be written like an acrostic where the first letter of the first word of each line is the alphabet in order.


Image by Mary Pahlke from Pixabay
Image by Mary Pahlke from Pixabay | Source

Hating the "F" Word (Failure)

Anyone with drive and purpose

Believes that they can succeed.

Confident and their skills and talents,

Defiant of all obstacles in their path,

Energetic and persistent,

Forever striving to move forward,

Generating positivity in every situation,

Hating the "F" word (Failure.)

In fact, not even acknowledging its existence,


Jubilantly celebrating each milestone,

Kicking butt whenever challenged,

Lamenting every missed opportunity,

Maintaining consistency and learning from setbacks,

No time to procrastinate,

"Overcome" is their favourite motivational word,

Persevering in the face of all obstacles,

Quelling all nae-saying and negative talk.


Remaining steadfast and focussed,

Satisfied only in success,

Taking one step at a time, but never a backward one,

Unwaivering from the end goal,

Victory always within their sight.

"When the going gets tough, the tough get going."

X-ray specs offer just an illusion.

Yearning for true discernment that provides clarity,

Zeroing in on success and fulfilment.

Image by Janet Gooch from Pixabay
Image by Janet Gooch from Pixabay | Source

Monumental Moments

Miniscule moths

May move mountains.

Magical? maybe.

Monumental moments

Merely masquerading

Man-made myths.


Muffled moans,

Morose monotones

Make me melancholy.

My manufactured musings

Morphing miraculously

Making mighty mythic monsters.

Questions & Answers

    © 2019 John Hansen

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      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        8 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you Li-Jen. This certainly was an interesting challenge. Glad you enjoyed.

      • Li-Jen Hew profile image

        Li-Jen Hew 

        8 weeks ago

        Hi Jodah. Happy to know that you have taken up the challenge. I like that your poem title is actually one line from the poem. Inspirational theme. And the monumental moments poem is tricky. You managed to do it. Thanks for sharing.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        8 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you Devika.

      • DDE profile image

        Devika Primić 

        8 weeks ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

        Excellent and glad you wrote with a courageous mind

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        That is great Rodric. Glad you found Ann’s article. That should help.

      • Rodric29 profile image

        Rodric Anthony 

        2 months ago from Peoria, Arizona

        Wow, this is not an easy task. I went to Ann's article, which is beautifully done. I am so glad I read your contribution so that I could get to her Article. I have been gone from Hubpages for a minute. This is why I am glad we all have the same circle of friends on Hubpages.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you Rodric. I really hope you do give this a try.

      • Rodric29 profile image

        Rodric Anthony 

        2 months ago from Peoria, Arizona

        I enjoyed this article. It makes me want to take a shot at doing it myself.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Genna, thank you for reading and for the generous comment. It is always great to see you.

      • Genna East profile image

        Genna East 

        2 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

        You met the challenge well, John. Hating the "F" Word is so darn clever -- actually, brilliant. And I love the subtle nuances and alteration in Monumental Moments. Well done.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Yes, Mary it was new to me too, but very interesting to try my hand at. Thanks for reading.

      • aesta1 profile image

        Mary Norton 

        2 months ago from Ontario, Canada

        This is indeed interesting as this is my first encounter with this type of poetry. I enjoyed reading it for its own rhythm.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you, Linda. That reminds me I am going to read your elephant article right now.

      • AliciaC profile image

        Linda Crampton 

        2 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

        I love your poems, John. The first one is very inspiring and the second one very interesting. You did a great job with the challenge.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Hi Flourish, thank you fo reading Pom. They were fun to write.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Glad you enjoyed these Dana, thanks so much for reading. Monumental Moments seems to be the popular one.

      • FlourishAnyway profile image

        FlourishAnyway 

        2 months ago from USA

        These were very enjoyable. I especially liked the Monumental Moments poem.

      • Dana Tate profile image

        Dana Tate 

        2 months ago from LOS ANGELES

        You can't see my hands that are clapping right now! Jodah. I loved them both but -- Monumental Moments-- killed it!

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        What more could I ask from a comment Val? You said it perfectly especially coming from your heart. Thank you, my friend.

      • ValKaras profile image

        Vladimir Karas 

        2 months ago from Canada

        John -- I always read the comments before making one, so that I don't just repeat someone else's words. But in this case it's hard to be original, because all these fine people already said what I would. And now I am left with the feeling of wanting badly to say something from my heart on a greeting card -- but the card said it much better than I ever could.

        So, let me just blurt out what first came as true to my heart : I LOVE YOUR DEEP POETIC SOUL, JOHN HANSEN! - Your friend Val

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you Nithya, glad you enjoyed

      • Vellur profile image

        Nithya Venkat 

        2 months ago from Dubai

        An excellent inspirational poem. A great response to the challenge enjoyed reading.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Sean, my brother, what can I say. I will gladly accept the label “the rainbow poet” and am glad the colours shine through in these poems. Blessings.

      • Sean Dragon profile image

        Ioannis Arvanitis 

        2 months ago from Greece, Almyros

        O, boy! O, boy! That was cool! My dear brother, I believe that now you can understand why I call you Rainbow Poet! I am happy to see you have many colours yet to give us! Thank you for the fun and the meaning.

        I wish you always to enjoy your colours!

        Sean

        PS: The video ... RESPECT!

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thanks Brenda. I am glad you enjoyed the poetry and video. I hope you attempt the challenge.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        That’s cool Eric. How long is it since you were last in the land down under?

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you, Lori. Yes, x and z are toughies, especially the x. I have heard that some poets cheat when attempting this and use poetic licence when doing a word starting with x e.g. xstatic or xcited etc

      • Brenda Arledge profile image

        BRENDA ARLEDGE 

        2 months ago from Washington Court House

        You did a great job, John. I saw her post also, but have not attempted it yet.

        Your video is most appropriate.

        Great write.

      • Ericdierker profile image

        Eric Dierker 

        2 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

        Just was thinking about Queens Bridge in Melbourne and talking business with a dude Hong Kong from. I love Australia. Walking out there at 2am is a trip. Take care.

      • lambservant profile image

        Lori Colbo 

        2 months ago from Pacific Northwest

        You did a great Job John. The x and z were a real challenge on mine. How about you? Great stuff. Congrats on a job well done.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Verlie, thank you for making us aware of this form of poetry in the first place. "Mythic" is much better than "mighty" I should change that lol. I appreciate your generous comment.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you, Ann, for setting the challenge and for your comment. I wasn't happy with Monumental Moments at first but did some tweaking and rearranging and it came out ok.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Hi Liz, this really made me think outside the box. it was fun though. Cheers.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        It is very interesting and fun to play around with words, Eric, and this challenge was wonderful for that. I look forward to reading what you come up with,

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Yes, Linda, I agree that other "F" word is used far too much. Some people seem to swear habitually whereas I would have to force an expletive and it wouldn't sound natural. Thanks for the generous comment.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you, Ruby. This certainly was an interesting challenge, I will be over to check "Sand Storms" very soon.

      • snakeslane profile image

        Verlie Burroughs 

        2 months ago from Canada

        Great response John! You capture not only the frustration of trying to create abecedarian poetry, but also the perseverance it takes to be a poet at all. Moving mountains, and making mighty (mythic) monsters all in a day's work.

      • annart profile image

        Ann Carr 

        2 months ago from SW England

        Great poems, John, especially the 'Monumental Moments'!

        You rose well to the challenge and thank you for contributing to that.

        Ann

      • Eurofile profile image

        Liz Westwood 

        2 months ago from UK

        I admire your creative genius, Jodah. Two great poems written within tight alphabetical constraints.

      • Ericdierker profile image

        Eric Dierker 

        2 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

        More interesting than watching a spider spin it's web. Of perhaps I just read a master spinning a web that caught me. This area shall be explored. Some look around a corner for something, I like to look around words.

      • Carb Diva profile image

        Linda Lum 

        2 months ago from Washington State, USA

        Wow, John. You nailed it. Your title got my attention because that other "F" word has unfortunately become part of the daily lexicon and I hate it. Cussing and swearing make one sound so unintelligent--such a limited vocabulary.

        I'm not even going to attempt this; I'll stick with cooking. Have a great day.

      • always exploring profile image

        Ruby Jean Richert 

        2 months ago from Southern Illinois

        John, you have a talent that can formulate any type of poetry. I loved your word usage. I did one, " Sand Storms " It was so much fun, trying something new.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you for reading Lorna. I greatly appreciate your comment.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you, Bill. It was fun but certainly a challenge. Glad I "nailed the landing" lol.

      • Lorna Lamon profile image

        Lorna Lamon 

        2 months ago

        You have certainly mastered this particular form of poetry John and I feel your poem 'Monumental Moments' is a fitting testament to this. Loved it.

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        2 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Another great response to the challenge. In gymnastic-speak, you nailed the landing, John!

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you very much for that generous comment, Pamela. I am glad you enjoyed these poems, and you have a great week too.

      • Pamela99 profile image

        Pamela Oglesby 

        2 months ago from Sunny Florida

        You succeeded wonderfully in writing this type of poetry. I wondered if you would take up the challenge, and you knocked it out of the park, John. I smiled while reading your poems as they were excellent in my opinion. Have a good week.

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