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."
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.