A was an Apple Pie

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.

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