“Do acrostics need to rhyme” is a commonly asked question, to which the answer is “no”. In fact, most acrostics don’t rhyme, not least because all acrostics are difficult to write, without the added challenge of getting them to rhyme (and scan). The main thing is to write an acrostic in a way that gives extra dimension to a word, and casts new light on it. It doesn’t need to rhyme any more than a poem needs to rhyme. However, like a poem, it’s better if the acrostic’s lines are crafted, with carefully chosen words and cadence, in a way that helps to charge it with meaning. I generally choose to write rhyming acrostics, partly because it gives me a distinctive medium, and also because most people can readily associate with a rhyming poem. My hope is that the acrostics at harryhunteronline.com will be used in church magazines, where many readers will find the rhyme pattern to be enjoyable and memorable. But this isn’t an inflexible rule. The following acrostic has proved to be one of my most popular and it doesn’t rhyme, though I hope it satisfies other criteria which qualify it as ‘poetry’…
Time pauses and
Heaven touches earth
In special places where
Nearness to God suddenly happens.
Present meets eternity,
And we encounter the living God.
City or country, garden or wildness:
Everyone finds their oasis, a
Still point of calm and sanctuary.