Meaning of Acrostic

What is Acrostic:

An acrostic is a poetic composition in which the first letter of each verse forms a phrase or name when grouped vertically. The revealed words evoke the literary image, concept, or dedication of the poem.

The expression derives from the Greek words akros, which means "extreme" and stikhos, which means "line or verse". Although the acrostic term is restricted to this notion, there are variations that have also become popular: the mesostic, which has the letters of the key word or phrase in the middle, and the telestic, which takes them at the end.

There is also the alphabetic acrostic which, as its name indicates, forms each verse from a letter of the alphabet, following its conventional order.

Apparently, the acrostic may have had its origin in ancient Greece, from where it would have taken its name. However, there are those who maintain that it originated in Provençal literature.

The acrostics became very popular in the Spanish language from the publication of the tragicomedy La Celestina, attributed to Fernando Rojas and written towards the end of the 15th century. This is because the author included a preamble written in acrostic.

Thus, this poetic form was widely explored at the time of the Spanish Golden Age, where the taste for complex artifacts of literary creation prevailed. As an example, we can cite the sonnet that Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz dedicated to Martín de Olivas and that hides that name. Let's see:

See also:

  • Acronym.
  • Literary figures.

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