Thursday, July 11, 2013

How 'come H? (Friday's Sunday's Poem)

Twenty-Six Letters
by me.
Hot Actress:
Janina Gavankar

The alphabet is weird to me.
I'm baffled every day.
I wonder 'bout the letters and
The words they let me say.

I wonder things like How 'come H?
Or Who invented L?
Or Why is there a W
When one works just as well?

The order of the letters seems
To me to be a mess.
All the vowels hiding in the crowd
And T right next to S?

What sense does that make? Fix it up!
Let them hang with friends!
Let Q and U stand together -
That begins to make amends.

And I and E pair up a lot,
But they live so far apart.
Why can't they be roommates?
C'm0n people, have a heart!

If I'd have been in charge of stuff
When society was formin'
You can bet I wouldn't muff
Things like this that are important.

Your ABCs would make more sense
If I'd been on the case.
They'd be ETAs, for one thing,
And Blickensderfer would save face.

I wouldn't make some letters
Work overtime, while others
Get to loaf and slack and sleep in
At the expense of their brothers.

Like why should C make two sounds?
While X has barely one?
And I does triple-duty,
Which hardly seems like fun.

And then there's Y, that poor thing
Neither consonant nor vowel -
Left in limbo, lonely letter,
Sobbing tears into its towel.

No, I'd have done things better.
You can bet on that, my friends.
Under me, those twenty-six letters
Would finally make sense.

________________________________________________________________

About The Poem: This poem first appeared on my blog Thinking The Lions, when I said:

From now on, Friday's Sunday's Poem is going to be exclusively poems I write, and they're all going to rhyme. Unless they don't. But they're mostly going to rhyme.

I wrote this poem because I decided to do this "A To Z" challenge thing -- I'll be doing it on The Best Of Everything -- and so I wanted to do something alphabet-y, something we've all probably felt on a Saturday morning. I was going to go with my B Is For Bapple concept, but I'm still working on that, so I did a bit of Seussian poetry instead.

This poem took me 37 minutes to write. But part of that time was spent looking up which letters are most commonly used, and part of that time was spent tickling Mr F, who insisted on it, and part of that time was reading about the Blickensderfer typewriter, a typewriter that had 1/10 the parts of a standard typewriter. It was sort of the iPad of its day, only less sweat-shoppy and its version of Siri actually worked.

9 comments:

Pat Dilloway said...

There is a large amount of arbitrariness in much of our world: languages, time, etc. It would be interesting if you could go back to the moment when someone decided the sky was blue and not some other word and so forth.

Andrew Leon said...

I remember when you posted that. I still like it.

A Beer For The Shower said...

I would also like to know who thought so many different pronunciations for the same letter pairings would be brilliant.

Such as "bough, cough, dough, enough, thought." I mean, why would those all have the same pronunciation when they can sound completely different from one another?

Briane P said...

Excellent point, Beer. Although I recently argued that the flexibility and increasing abstractness of the English language is why we are so great at capitalism.

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