My Alphabet

Ruth Hartley Storytelling, Children's Stories, Education, Reading, Writing Process4 Comments


A Bright Child who could Read at 5

I couldn’t Pronounce the Sounds I’d never Heard

Just because the Desks were Full

I was sent up a Grade from Class One

To Where the Kids were Big and Bold.

But I was much too Young

I was Never Taught my ABCs

Quiet, I Never spoke an EXtra Word.

Dictionaries were Mysterious books

Where Words appeared by Chance

In Libraries I was lost among the Shelves

I never learnt to Sing the Alphabet

Even when I got all As at my Os

I was always Out of Order

At University I couldn’t get the Dewey

System Crooked or Straight

Until I was 50 and doing my MA

Did I deserve a Very Good or a Zed Grade?


It’s a hard life if you are illiterate.

4 Comments on “My Alphabet”

    1. Ruth Hartley

      Hi Lorraine – yes – when the world was trying to get back to normal after WW2 – I don’t suppose there was much investment in schools during the war but there was a baby boom!

    1. Ruth Hartley

      Hi Anita – thank you! Not sure it deserves to be called a poem though – I was in a rush and having some fun with the alphabet – wish I could have found an Abecedaria with interesting fonts. The Dewey I didn’t know is the cataloguing system for library books according to subject and author. It’s a long time since I was in a library searching for a reference – it’s all done online now.

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