Poetry Friday: “Poet’s Checklist”


An acrostic poem, according to Poetry4kids, is “a poem in which the first letters of each line spell out a word or phrase.” The word can be anything; colors, animals, names, and more. Acrostic poems have been around since antiquity, and they are still popular today in schools. (I wrote more about sharing acrostics with students and how they support the CCSS here.)

On this last Poetry Friday of National Poetry Month, I want to share one of my favorite acrostics. This poem, by Patricia Hubbard, appeared in the May, 2003 issue of The Reading Teacher (Vol. 56, No.8). I think Hubbard perfectly captures the process of writing a poem.


Poet’s Checklist

Always start with ideas that sing in your heart.

Choose sharp, juicy, whistling words.

Rhyme is fine, but it must shine.

Over and over and over–write, read, revise.

See, touch, taste smell, listen to your poem.

Too sloppy? Recopy.

Ideas dance on the polished page.

Celebrate–you are a poet. Share, speak, sing.

by Patricia Hubbard

Please visit Laurie Salas Purdie at Writing the World for Kids for the Poetry Friday Roundup!

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