What Is an Acrostic Valentine?

In an acrostic Valentine, every letter of a person's name is placed on a separate line and left-justified. Then each line of prose or poetry starts with the letter at the front of its line.

For example, a three-line acrostic Valentine for "Bob" reads "Best man I've ever known/Overwhelmed by my feelings/Because each day my love has grown." Both first and last names are often used.

Acrostic Valentines have been around for centuries. Although some were presented directly to the objects of their affection, special poetic versions also appeared in newspapers. For instance, during the second half of the 18th century, acrostic love poems appeared in the "Virginia Gazette." Some were signed, but others were published anonymously.