Tag Archives: Christmas

Love Was with Me in the Night

May Sarton’s imagines love without weight in her poem “Christmas Light.”

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Joy of Life Revealed in Love’s Creation

In Auden’s “Christmas Oratorio,” the shepherds stand in for the working class, who find love and personhood in the birth of Jesus.

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Christmas During Life’s Storms

In “Christmas at Sea,” Robert Louis Stevenson’s speaker is both buoyed up and saddened by childhood Christmas memories.

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Dickens Returned Xmas to Medieval Roots

Dickens’s “Christmas Carol” didn’t so much invent Christmas as we have come to know it as take it back to its medieval roots.

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There’s More to Christmas Than We Think

When fundamentalist Christians say that there is a war on Christmas, they point to secular and pagan threats. But many of the symbols they embrace are borrowed from other religions traditions, as this Scott Bates poem makes clear.

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The Constellated Sounds of Bells

First Sunday after Christmas Sewanee, Tennessee, where I spend each Christmas, is a great place for bells and chimes. There is the 56-bell carillon in All Saints’ Chapel—once one of the largest in the world although probably no more—and the single Otey Parish bell. There are also the bells in Breslin Tower, which strike the […]

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Our Christmas Owes Much to Walter Scott

While Charles Dickens can be credited with resurrecting Christmas, Sir Walter Scott paved the way in “Marmion” with his depiction of Christmas and pre-Christmas banquets.

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Tell of Winter’s Tales and Mirth

Robert Herrick’s “New Year’s Gift” urges us to celebrate fully the twelve days of Christmas in the same spirit as that which he urges young virgins to gather their rosebuds while they may.

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Joy Shall Be Yours in the Morning

Kenneth Grahame has a particularly beautiful Christmas story in “Wind in the Willows.”

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The Minstrels Played Their Christmas Tune

William Wordsworth celebrates Christmas was a poem about minstrels singing Christmas carols.

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The Divine Enters thru Imagination’s Holes

If Christmas is about the entrance of the divine into the human, then works of the imagination are always filled with the Christmas spirit.

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Dickens Returned Christmas to Its Roots

Dickens’ “Christmas Carol” returned the Christmas celebration to its medieval folk roots.

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The Quest of the Marvelous Tree

In this mystical Scott Bates poem, the Christmas tree becomes a magical key that unlocks the darkness.

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The Animals Are Trying to Warn Us

Scott Bates invokes “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” in this Nativity poem.

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Advent and Horror at the Void

Donald Hall’s “Advent” captures the darkness of the season, linking death with birth.

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Where Are the Games of Yesteryear?

Christmas I shared “Ballad of the Games of Yesteryear” this past spring when my father temporarily lapsed into dementia. But he wrote it as a Christmas poem and so I’m posting it again as I mourn the first Christmas spent without him. Now that he is dead, the poem contains special meaning, echoing as it […]

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Lights As If Out of Nowhere

Joseph Brodsky wrote a series of Christmas poems, including this one

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Letters from Mrs. Santa Claus

Two Scott Bates Christmas poems show Santa on the move, thanks to the melting of the polar ice caps.

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If Oz Became Modern Day America

This Scott Bates poem revisits the Land of Oz and finds that modern America has broken out.

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Where Are the Toys of Yesteryear?

Where are the toys of yesteryear? Such is the lament of this poem by Scott Bates.

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Jesus Lies Enclosed but Fills All Place

John Donne’s poem on the Nativity shows us a way out of our imprisoned existence.

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No Room for Them in the (Holiday) Inn

In Scott Bates’s updated nativity scene, there is no room for Mary and Josephn in the Holiday Inn.

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A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Christmas

Applying “Hichhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” to the nativity scene opens up interesting perspectives on the animals that are present.

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Haunting Music of the Other World

Anne Porter shows us how “the fresh truth of children” is central to the Christmas experience.

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Holly & Ivy Dance to the Music of the Moon

A Scott Bates version of the “Holly and Ivy” carol shows how multiple religious traditions blend seamlessly in Christmas rituals.

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Dickens Helped Shape Our Christmas

Charles Dickens helped solidify the idea of Christmas in the minds of 19th century England by his descriptions in “The Pickwick Papers.”

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Night before Christmas on the Moon

Scott Bates’s “The Night before Christmas on the Moon” delightfully sets Clement Moore’s beloved poem in a lunar landscape.

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Christmas Life in the Face of Death

Comparing the Japanese film “Departures” with “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” give special insight into the meaning of Christmas.

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Move with the Wind, Sleep under the Snow

Here’s a non-Christmas tree poem by Scott Bates for friends of the environment.

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Inside These Wrappings, a Brighter Life

Spiritual Sunday Yesterday we had a white Christmas in Sewanee, Tennessee, where I am visiting my parents.  The world was brown when we went to bed and white when we awoke.  The symbolism of Christmas snow lies in the promise of wiping everything clean and starting anew.  Grace appears to enter our fallen world. That’s […]

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A Roc for Christmas (Annual Bird Count)

Sports Saturday I don’t know whether bird watching is officially considered a sport but, what with Christmas falling on a “Sports Saturday,” let’s say it is.  That way I have an excuse for writing about the annual Christmas bird count. Every year, between the middle of December and the first week in January, bird watchers […]

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