From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.

Literature Glossary

Don’t be an oxymoron. Know your literary terms.

Over 200 literary terms, Shmooped to perfection.

Acrostic

Definition:

An acrostic is a spiffy kind of poem that uses all of the letters from a single word to make a whole new set of words, phrases, or lines. Think of it as vertical poetry.

What's that? You want an example? Ahem, ahem. Allow us:

Studying
Hard
Makes
Otters
Officially
Perfect

Okay, so we never claimed to be the best acrostic writers around. Think you can do better? Write your own.

Think acrostics are just for fun? Well, they can be, but this is legit lit right here. Edgar Allan Poe wrote a famous acrostic for his cousin Elizabeth.