November acrostic

Nature’s fiery colors fade to brown
Overhead on the power line a hawk
Vaingloriously perches against a charcoal sky
Eyeing the underbrush
Mice seem to know, and are still
Burrowed in blankets of papery leaves
Every furtive squirrel a master of stockpiling

Red squirrel. YellowstoneNPS. Public Domain.

3 thoughts on “November acrostic

  1. Fran, I am always impressed with your poetry and vocabulary. Very often I find myself looking up words in your poetry, which I like doing because I’m learning new words. When I was teaching my vocabulary was good, but it was never at your level. Now, that I haven’t been teaching in quite a long time, I find myself even looking up words to make sure I’m remembering the correct meaning of a word. I’ve always been good at using context clues and I always liked teaching that skill to students because I think it is so useful for children to learn how to try to figure out the meaning of the word from the words around them. Then, they can check the word on or a real dictionary book (I’m not even sure if these are in some classrooms & homes, anymore.) to see if they did figure the meaning out correctly.

    Sometimes in poetry, there aren’t many context clues, and I think context clues stand out for me as easily as they do in prose. Anyway, I had to look up the word vaingloriously. When I first read the word, I didn’t notice the word vain in it. As soon as I saw the meaning of it, I said Fran is clever using this word as an adverb.

    In your poem, your first line hooks me “fiery colors” makes me immediately see the reds, oranges, yellows in my mind. I love “Overhead on the power line a hawk
    Vaingloriously perches against a charcoal sky
    Eyeing the underbrush” because I again visualize your image of the hawk, but because you use “vaingloriously perches” I now see a hawk with an attitude, a big ego. I see a hawk who is perched but maybe with a looser grip because it knows, “I so got this mouse. It’s my appetizer.” I see the hawk with a haughty tilt of his head and its glare is conceited “eyeing the underbrush.” I also see the charcoal sky, which kind of gives me an ominous feeling.

    I learn so much from your writing, thank you! Can I also add this poem to my writer’s notebook using a copyright sign by your name? This way I’ll include the meaning of vaingloriously and how I described the hawk above in my mind. It will also help me to retain vaingloriously because I will look back on your great acrostic again and again.

    Thank you for your inspiration. Your poem moved me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Since my days as an English major, I have tended to underestimate revelatory potential of the acrostic form. You have validated it to me more than once.

    But I cannot help but suspect that you can’t even write a grocery list without being poetic. Please show us one.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. November is my birthday month. So I am partial in more than one way. On Long Island it is sunny where I grew up. I remember it as cheery and not the signaled of dreary, grey, cold as it is where I call home, now. Where Carol V. grew up. We mirrored- imaged each other until we she moved south. So she understands the snow belt life. Yet Vovember Eve was a favorite holiday back when there were more princesses, clowns, book characters and homemade costumes and hope. Then the joy of family and Thanksgiving and family I miss so like grandparents, aunts, cousins, uncles. I am smack dab in the middle. Was the first child and revere the light and love bestowed on me from all. And then follows December and the anticipation of the most important birthday around. But your poem. I’d submit that to Ideals or Cricket. Someplace. Or even a picture book. Look for an email with an idea. It is a gem. I agree with Paul above. A brilliant acrostic is difficult to write. You make it appear easy.


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