A, B, C’s: An Alphabet Appreciation


An alphabet poem, written by me, in honor of Back to School:

Lines and squiggles,

Made twenty-six ways,

Turn into words,

Before our gaze.

Hooray for the alphabet!

Do you remember when you first learned your A, B, C’s?

I remember printing with a fat red pencil in first grade. We’d do a whole sheet of  just one letter.  I can’t recall if we did the capital letter and the lower case letter on the same page, or did we learn all the capital letters first?

I can still smell the smooth, off-white paper with the blue solid lines and the dotted lines. And I loved the stickers we’d get when we showed the teacher our finished page. She (or we) had to lick the sticker to make it stick. Imagine!  I really did go to school in the dark ages.

But if you  want to wrap your mind around an amazing concept, ponder those lines and squiggles and what they mean to our lives.

Without the alphabet, there would be no sharing of thoughts on menopause.

Without the alphabet, we’d all have to gesture.

What crazy theatrics that might make, if we could only describe The Great Pause through gestures.

Thank you, alphabet!

And here’s a fun question:  Do you have a favorite letter?

I like lots of them, but at the moment, I’ll choose K. My maiden name started with a K, and K kicks herself out and shouts, “World, here I am.”

Photo: Essie (Esther Hardenbergh) stitched this sampler at age ten in 1925  in Minnesota.  Essie certainly mastered the alphabet (and numbers). She earned a PhD in biochemistry from Harvard, quite unusual for a woman of her time.  I bought this treasure at a charity auction here in Hillsborough, North Carolina.

16 responses »

  1. Hmmmmm….my favorite letter might be a “J” in script please, lower or upper case…..I love writing it in script (even though I don’t have very pretty handwriting). Afterall, I have to write it soooo much. It’s a good thing I like it. My dad and my daughter’s name also begin with a J. The letter has been in my life a long time. 🙂
    Fun post!

  2. Neat! I, too, remember learning to print my alphabet letters on big sheets of paper! One of the few things I remember about that class. I think my favorite letter might be “B”. It can look very pretty when it’s a capital B written in cursive. (But we may be the last generation to use cursive!)

  3. I don’t have a favorite, but I do have a question for everyone. How old do you think you have to be to know what a cursive Q is really supposed to look like? My oldest is 24, a very smart law school student, and I doubt she knows.

  4. I’m going rouge on you here and claiming my favorite numeral. 5. A beautiful arrangements of straights and curves. Just so pretty. I agree with Susan’s comment about ours being the last generation to use cursive–and what a sad thing. I just think handwriting, especially cursive, is such an expression of personality.

  5. I can’t say I have a favorite. Seems that there are a lot of common ones in the initials of my family – but that really doesn’t mean they a favorites. The one I seem to really like most when reading ABC books to my children is X. Seems that many children writers have a hard time with that letter and I love seeing how creative they can be! I was quite impressed with the latest ABC book I read to my daughter in that it used Xenops – not just xylophone 🙂

  6. Ha! I can just picture the conversations people would have about menopause – and so many other subjects – without actually being able to speak or write. Yay for the alphabet!

    I don’t remember when I learned the alphabet, exactly, but Sunshine, who is 2.5, loves to sing the alphabet, tell me what sounds all the letters make, and pretend to read. I love that even little kids can begin to share the magic of stories on their own.

    • Go Sunshine! I’m with my new grandson this morning and have been singing him “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” which he seems to like, all in all. Will try the ABC song next!

Comment on this post

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s