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The ABC -- Spike Milligan

Guest poem sent in by Vijay D'silva
(Poem #1196) The ABC
 'Twas midnight in the schoolroom
 And every desk was shut
 When suddenly from the alphabet
 Was heard a loud "Tut-Tut!"

 Said A to B, "I don't like C;
 His manners are a lack.
 For all I ever see of C
 Is a semi-circular back!"

 "I disagree," said D to B,
 "I've never found C so.
 From where I stand he seems to be
 An uncompleted O."

 C was vexed, "I'm much perplexed,
 You criticise my shape.
 I'm made like that, to help spell Cat
 And Cow and Cool and Cape."

 "He's right" said E; said F, "Whoopee!"
 Said G, "'Ip, 'Ip, 'ooray!"
 "You're dropping me," roared H to G.
 "Don't do it please I pray."

 "Out of my way," LL said to K.
 "I'll make poor I look ILL."
 To stop this stunt J stood in front,
 And presto! ILL was JILL.

 "U know," said V, "that W
 Is twice the age of me.
 For as a Roman V is five
 I'm half as young as he."

 X and Y yawned sleepily,
 "Look at the time!" they said.
 "Let's all get off to beddy byes."
 They did, then "Z-z-z."
-- Spike Milligan
   I wonder if I would be looking at alphabets in a new light if I had
come across this when I was learning to read. Well, it would have made
it a more 'happening' experience.  The poem does have the light hearted
eccentricity found in most of Milligan's works which make them so
enjoyable.
   It is just over a year since Spike Milligan passed away. I was hoping
to find a poem with more of the unabashed bizzareness which I love about
Milligan which often provides a welcome escape from reality but this was
too delightful to save for another day.

Vijay

[Martin adds]

Another of those poems that I'd first seen in a book of children's poetry,
when I was Very Young, and vaguely remembered without ever knowing it had a
famous author. In retrospect, children's poetry books tended to have an
incredible mix of poem by famous, obscure and just plain anonymous poets,
and the good ones made it work really well. And, of course, there were all
the wonderful illustrations accompanying the poems. It's a shame that
children don't seem to be reading as much nowadays (if the media are to be
believed) - nothing catches the imagination quite like the written word.

20 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Carol Mabbott said...

For what its worth guys. Probably a couple times a month, I print out a
copy of a poem you've sent and share it with my 6 and 11 year old boys, so
you are contributing to the literacy of the young. They really got a kick
out of the elephant series.

UserS4345 said...

At last I have found you!
The ABC by Spike Milliagan.
I recited this poem as part of one of my drama prose pieces many, many years
ago!
Everyone loved it! And since having children, still very tender in years, I
was keen to find it again so that they could enjoy it with Mummy. Gosh how
excited am I !!!! Great great fun poem. Needless to say I passed with Honours.

Nazayesha said...

i recited this poem in secondary school some 22-23 years ago and i have
always only remembered the first three paragraphs only. my children
also know the three paragraphs and i will be delighted to show them the
rest of the poem today. How wonderful the internet can be.

shamette said...

Thank you soooooo very much. I learned this poem in the 5th grade in Jamaica and I remembered some of it. I have been searching for it so I can teach it to my 2 yr son. Finally!!!! Thank you! It's such ashame that kids no longer get these poems. I remember when I was growing up, every grade in school went through several poems each school year, Now all these kids today have in T.V. and Ipods.

Anonymous said...

LOL! jks love ya

Generic Viagra said...

I didn't understand the poem. Seriously, I love the blog but in this occasion was something estrange, because I felt my vulnerability to read the poem above. We need more about the author.

Jasa Penerjemah Tersumpah | Jasa Penerjemah | Penerjemah Resmi said...

in this case, the enchantment of the night. (This takes a page
from Jacques Derrida's postmodernist playbook.) And yet we keep trying,
as the poem so wonderfully points out.

Busana Muslim said...

in this case, the enchantment of the night. (This takes a page
from Jacques Derrida's postmodernist playbook.) And yet we keep trying,
as the poem so wonderfully points out.

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hello, i thik that this poem is amazing.

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Jem said...

When was this poem written?

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I learned this poem in the 5th grade in Jamaica and I remembered some of it. I have been searching for it so I can teach it to my 2 yr son. Finally, Thank you

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Anonymous said...

I seem to remember that in "Silly verse for kids" there was an alternative last verse. I think the first two lines were the same but the last two became (something like)
They all Jumped into beddy-byes,
The last one in was Zed.

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