A was an apple pie
B bit it.
C cut it.
D dealt it. … and so on
The rhyme goes back at least to the eighteenth century and has always intrigued me -all those verbs, all those things to be done with an apple pie.
Sandy Brownjohn suggests the alphabet as a manageable frame for experimentation – in this case, with verbs. The alphabet can form the backbone for a list poem that conjures up a particular event or place.
Think of a place or a happening where there is plenty going on: a supermarket, the seaside, a birthday party, break time on the school playground, lunchtime in a café or at a picnic. Then imagine the characters there. Each one has an alphabet name and is doing something that begins with that letter:
The School Play
A acted their socks off.
B blew his own trumpet.
C collected donations in a bucket.
D danced delightfully.
E exited stage left.
F forgot everything.
G grinned at his grandpa.
H hummed along to all the solos.
I invented a new scene.
J jostled to be at the front.
K kicked J.
L laughed loudly.
M mimed magnificently.
N nibbled the hem of her dress.
O ordered everyone about.
P played the piano poetically.
Q quickened the pace.
R recited the whole show by heart.
S sang at the top of her voice.
T tripped over his tail.
U uplifted the crowd.
V vowed she’d never go on stage again.
W waited in the wings.
X eXtended a hand of friendship.
Y yelled out in the middle of a quiet bit.
Z zoomed into the limelight
& a jolly good time was had by all, from A to Z.