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The "One, Two, Three, Four" Thoughts on Love and Family: An Acrostic Poem

Dean Traylor is a freelance writer and teacher who writes about various subjects, including education and creative writing.

From one to four


How a "Lonely One" became a Family of Four

O h, the loneliest

N umber

E ver devised.

T hen it happens.

W e meet

O ur union tied.

T ogether we

H ave a child who

R uns wild through

E very room in our

E normous heart

F amily becomes one more.

O ne plus three!

U nlikely to ever

R eturn, to the lonely one.

Poem Proves to be Prophetic

Since writing this poem, something happened to my wife and I. We started a foster-to-adopt program and took in two boys. One was 1 1/2 years old when he entered our household in June of 2013. The other was came to us a month later at the tender age of 3 weeks old.

In the year that followed, he have cleared many hurtles for adoption. By the end of the month (August 2014) our oldest, Garet will be officially adopted. Also, the youngest, Caleb, had the parental rights terminated, meaning that we are now the sole guardians. Also, it sets up the possibility of his adoption -- hopefully by the end of the year.

The poem had been written before all this had happened.

Acrostics as Teaching Tool and Stand-Alone Poems

Acrostic poems are popular teaching tools for nearly every level of education. Elementary school teachers use them to teach creative writing, art, basic sentence or letter-identification rules. Middle school and high school teachers devise lessons with them, which are menat to reinforce sentence structure and other grammar rules.

Still, acrostics can stand alone as poems covering various topics. They can be combined with haiku or other syllabic poems; use rhymes and rhythms like a lyrical poem; or be used to tell a story like a narrative, ode or ballad.

Usually, an acrostic is a poem in which the first letter of every line spells out a word when read vertically. In most cases, the word formed by the first letters of each line is an indication of the poem’s subject or theme. In other cases -- as with the poem accompanying this article -- the word or words are used for organizations or ways to push a poem along.

In most cases, acrostics will be short and based on one word. Also they’ll start at the top and go down vertically, with each line consisting of a word, phrase, or sentence.

This is not a strict rule, however. Some acrostics have the word start at the bottom and work its way up to the top. Some poets have played with the format by having the letter of the word that starts each line written horizontally or diagonally with the lines of peoem placed vertically. Much of these formatting innovation were the result of computer programs, as well as influences from noted poets such as E.E. Cummings who often played with format to create his body of work.

Another Update

Just when I thought my family was complete, we received another bundle of joy. Now, we're a family of five (for now). Still, she is a foster child like the others; however, she is the half-sister of our oldest son (who was officially adopted on August 26, 2014). The chances are good that we will be able to adopt her.

© 2012 Dean Traylor

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