OH! RICH MAN, HEAR WHAT A. B. C. CAN SAY TO THEE.
Title:Oh! Rich Man, Hear What A. B. C. Can Say to Thee
Date:Dec 5 1862
This linguistically clever poem uses the alphabet through its twenty-six lines to appeal to the rich to help those impoverished by the Cotton Famine. Beyond its formal conceit is the implicit message that it would easy to solve the problems of poverty if those with the means only willed it – it would be like ABC. As with all exercises in this vein, the author struggles when it comes to the letters ‘x’ and ‘z’, but helpfully provides explanations of the obscure terms which are used by necessity. – SR