Selected Poems for Christmas
What a lovely book! The desire for peace and the rebirth of childhood memories feature in many poems in this collection. There are also many expressions of joy, as indulgent parents share the excitement of the day with boisterous children busily unwrapping presents below the Christmas tree. And the contributions come from so many Countries right round the World.. this is surely a book to treasure. More
When I think of Christmas my thoughts often turn to a painting called “The Nativity” by the great Tuscan artist Piero della Francesca which fortunately we have in our National Gallery in London. The feelings of solemn serenity and peace which it evokes by its subdued, marmoreal tones enable us to experience the pure light of rebirth. Leonardo’s “The Virgin of the Rocks” uses dark shadows but is also incredibly beautiful. When we recall that this area of Central Italy produced Dante and Michelangelo, perhaps the soil there is particularly fertile. Or it could be the wine! You’d better ask Fabrizio Frosini, a very fine poet in both Italian and English for his view on that, as he too hails from Tuscany!
The desire for peace and the rebirth of childhood memories feature in many poems in this collection. There are also many expressions of joy, as indulgent parents share the excitement of the day with boisterous children busily unwrapping presents below the Christmas tree. In recalling her visit with her father to the “Wassail Bowl”, Marianne Larsen Reninger, brings out in fine detail a beautiful childhood memory. She also gets a plus from me for mentioning my favourite carol, Silent Night! In another fine poem Margaret O’Driscoll expresses the joy of Christmas Night.
The contributions come from so many Countries right round the World and the range of ideas and images sparkles like a box of brightly coloured jewels. I think each contributor has important things to say about Christmas and there is much to admire in the contrasts of styles and the personal views of the season. I hope contributors will not be offended if I do not mention their poem specifically but I can assure everyone each poem had its own sparkle. So I hope you will forgive me for indulging in my own personal tastes.
Sometimes it is a line that catches my eye, as in Anitah Muwanguzi’s poem: “love falls softly hard”: History reborn and given a new name.. Sometimes a poem enchants me as Valsa George’s “A Christmas Song”, Karen Edwards’ “Sacred Season” and Judith Blatherwick’s “The Christmas Flight”. Also, I love humour and it is an essential ingredient of Christmas; two very funny poems come from the same family, mother and son. Pamela Sinicrope made me laugh with her line “as the kids look on in horror” referring to parents’ dancing talents. I’m sure Pam didn’t mean herself as, judging by the beautiful rhythm of her verse, she is probably a very good dancer! In any event it is the solemn duty of parents to embarrass their offspring on these festive occasions. Most remarkable is the poem her fifteen year old son, Stephen submitted. One-liners such as “stringing up the slaughtered pine” and “withering wax wafts sweet as wine” show great promise but the two lines which really creased me with laughter were: "The girls start to smooth their skirts / To hide their forked tails." Stephen is clearly a rising star! Often Christmas takes a great deal of worthwhile preparation. This is perhaps exemplified best by Barry Middleton in his excellent poem, “Cedar Tree Christmas”. That “joy is something to be earned” as he and his friends did in obtaining their “priceless Christmas tree.”
Of course, for some Christmas can be a time of sadness, remembering departed relatives and friends but, even here, there is a determination to enjoy the day for the sake of lost ones. Christmas is a time for reflection and it would be well to remember previous occasions when those who are now missing contributed so much to the family’s enjoyment.
I am sure we would all like to thank Fabrizio for giving us this opportunity to submit our poems in this collection. Having read every poem, I believe he has created a book to treasure. Well done, everyone, and I hope that all your special dreams come true. Merry Christmas! (Tom Billsborough, England)