Sunday, November 13, 2011

Alphabetically Speaking

Bizarre and Ornamental Alphabets (Dover Pictorial Archives) Cover

asks us to base our writing on the Alphabet


All children learn their ABCs
Bad ones, good ones, all of these.
Countries vary the presentation
Deciding which one suits their nation.
Every child must learn to write
Familiar letters they know by sight.
Generally they learn with ease
Happily writing ABCs.
If they stumble at the start
Jolly teachers play a part.
Kindergarten children play
Learning letters every day.
Most of us can learn to spell.
Now, some don't do it very well.
Older people often note
Past pupils were just taught by rote,
Questioning methods of today,
Rejecting all ideas of play.
'Sounding' words is a common ploy,
That occupies each girl and boy.
Unless a child is dull indeed
Various children learn to read.
 When we reach the letter X
(X-ceptions always tend to vex)
You and I throw in the towel
Zounds! I'm ending with a scowl!


Many things have been 'peerless',
Meaning without a peer;
Meaning the peak of perfection
Or something very near.
Cars, and motor-bikes and boats,
Have claimed this accolade,
The makers hinting they're the best,
The finest ever made.
But the 'peerless' thing I like the best,
And of which I'm very fond,
Is the Peerless Pool that started out
Just as a Perilous Pond!
In the sixteen hundreds
It simply started as a spring
Which flowed into the London streets,
Just meandering.
There it formed a little pond
In which many young men drowned!
So the frightening adjective 'perilous'
Suited it, they found.
In 1743 the pond
Was converted to a pool
Surrounded by trees that were shady,
So in summer it was cool.
It became The Peerless Pool;
The Perilous Pond was gone.
It became a London amenity
Which now we look back upon.
Bathers changed in a vestibule
And descended marble stairs
To cool themselves in the water
And to wash away their cares.
There was a library, a bowling green,
Ice-skating in the cold!
In fact there were Pleasure Gardens,
Quite modern to behold!
There was even a little fish-pond
Stocked with many fish
So all the landed gentry
Could catch all that they might wish!
It cost one shilling a visit
So only the rich could pay,
And all the local riffraff
Had to stay away.
A hundred years later the Peerless Pool
Existed only in name.
Only Peerless Street remains,
And I think that's a shame.
For 'one brief shining moment'
The Peerless Pool existed!
And when it was bricked-over......
No-one even missed it!


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