Monday, April 21

Posted by Laurel Garver on Monday, April 21, 2014 6 comments
By Deborah Guzzi
Photo credit: Gracey at

randomly I stare into
each reflective surface
forever pondering the
lines of age, pain and joy
each one a splendid testament
culled from a full life
teased endlessly, eternally
into distorted images
of the soul of me
never quite

surely, I am
not this shallow
only time can plane my cheek
insight my eyes to fade
turn the plumpness of lip to
crinkles of mirth
enlivening the gray
languishing in silver
forever seeing but parts of the
ecstasy I


You might have observed, through my use of color, that the first letter of each line, when read downwards, forms a word. This is a poetic form called an acrostic, and was used frequently in ancient poetry like the Hebrew book of Psalms. What is particularly clever about this piece is that the poet recreates the word backwards (or in mirror image) in the second stanza, reinforcing the sense of reflections.

Acrostics are a somewhat slighted form, in part because it's often one of the first forays into poetry writing for early elementary students. But as Guzzi shows, the form can be quite sophisticated in the hands of an experienced poet. Even within the confines of form, she has some striking sound patterns, like "culled from a full life" and "plumpness of lip."

What lines or images strike you?

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  1. I love this type of poetry. When I was younger - like school age - this is the sort of poetry I dabbled in the most. Not sure why. Hmm.... maybe I was searching for some answer. Geesh, I think you just gave me a story idea.

    Sheri at Writer's Alley

    Home of Rebel Writer CREED 2014
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    1. I bet you had a really inspiring Language Arts teacher who made the form seem super cool. And yay for new story ideas!

  2. I'd never heard of this type of poetry, so I learned something new today! =D Thx!

    1. You're most welcome. Glad to have opened your horizons. :-)

  3. I'm impressed. :) And I love the word CULLED.

    1. It's a great piece, isn't it? A very thoughtful meditation on the changes aging brings and how to savor rather than fear them.