Did you know that Nobel Laureate, Russian poet Joseph Brodsky was so taken with Christmas that he wrote a Christmas poem every year (now collected in his book Nativity Poems)? Holiday poems and stories have an enduring appeal, and most of you are familiar with Charles Dickens’s story about Scrooge, Tiny Tim, and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Christmas Yet to Come. For this week’s poem, we’re going to do some variations on the past, present, and future theme, and you’ll need to think about your past, present, and future Christmases, Chanukahs, Kwanzaas, or other annual winter-season celebrations.
1. Write about a holiday about your past (dig deeply into family memories).
2. Write a poem in which you compare winter holidays of the past, present, and/or future.
3. Write about seasonal ghosts that haunt you.
4. Write about people from your past who are no longer with you and how that impacts your present holiday season; or, write about one special person with whom you always associate the winter holidays.
5. Write about aspects of winter holiday traditions that remain part of your annual celebrations.
6. Write about the faith and/or cultural aspects of your winter holidays.
7. Write about one unforgettable winter holiday.
8. Write about holiday food treats and how they sweeten your memories.
9. Write about a holiday song that replays in your mind because of its associations (or, write your own words to a Christmas carol or other winter holiday song).
10. Write a poem based on an old Christmas, Chanukah, or other winter holiday photograph
11. Write about a historical holiday-time event.
12. Write about a winter holiday yet to come. You might consider a fantasy poem with a futuristic sensibility.
Keep in mind that holiday literature can be tricky—be sure to sidestep the pitfalls of sentimentality, schmaltziness, nostalgia, and clichés.
The next prompt will be posted on Saturday, January 5, 2013.
In the meantime,
I wish each of you the special gifts of this season
—happiness, hope, and peace—
and a New Year filled with good health
and all the things that bring you joy.
In poetry and sharing,
This is wonderful, Adele!ReplyDelete
Happy Christmas to you, your family, and your beautiful Chaucey.
As Tiny Tim said, "God bless us, everyone!"
Thanks, Jamie! Happy Christmas to you and your family too! And, yes, "God bless us, everyone!"Delete
As usually Jago is a "bastian contrario"ReplyDelete
= somebody who contradicts another just for the sake of doing so...
"Santa Claus is a good symbolization for Christmas," said Joseph. "Department stores, shopping, the coming of the New Year. Christmas means better business in the stores"
Adele, who said that? ( it is in an old American book , 1964)
Ah, Jago, alas, I don't know the book from which you quote.Delete
Nor I, Jago. Will you tell us?Delete
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, Adele, and to all of your blog readers!ReplyDelete
Here's wishing everyone a Christmas filled with joy and peace and a New Year filled with good health and happiness.
Thanks so much, Bob, and the same to you and yours!Delete
Happy holidays, Everyone! Thanks, Adele, for all the prompts and this wonderful blog.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Scott! Happy holidays to you and your family!Delete
The book is " The Three Christs of Ypsilanti",(1964) by Milton Rokeach.ReplyDelete
It was the first book I bought on Internet, the search engine was Altavista...
Buon Natale e Buon Anno Nuovo a tutti voi!
Thanks, Ales! I'll have to check that book out!Delete
Wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas and a happy, healthy New year!
Here's is my offering.ReplyDelete
S. Thomas Summers (Scott)
Thanks so much for sharing, Scott!Delete
A wonderful poem from Levi McCormick to his wife at Christmas. The line "I need a scent of home" is especially poignant in the context of the poem, and the spellings add a lot the sensibility of the piece.
All good wishes to you and your family for a merry Christmas and a healthy, happy New Year.
NOTE: Blog readers, be sure to visit Scott's site and read this poem.
Extraordinary, S. Thomas - thank you! I'm not even American, and I felt that I was right there with your Levi McCormack. Your poem makes the history of the individual in the setting of that particular war so immediate and so personal. He might be any soldier in any war, past or present.Delete
Thank you, Adele. Thank you, Jamie.Delete
Jamie if you are intersted, my book, Private Hercules McGraw: Poems of the American Civil War is available on amazon.com.
Thanks again to all.
Extraordinary! I have to look for this book!Delete
But Christmas is a summer holiday :)ReplyDelete
Inextricably linked here with fresh ripe strawberries and red pohutukawa blossom
Happy Christmas wherever you are!
I see that you live in New Zealand—so while we're dreaming of a white Christmas, you're enjoying summer! Those strawberries and pohutukawa blossoms sound wonderful!
Thanks so much for your comment, and all good wishes to you and to yours for a happy Christmas and a healthy New Year.
Thank you, Adele, for all the lovely prompts throughout each year!ReplyDelete
Nollaig shona duit
Athbhliain faoi mhaise duit!
Máire Ó Cathail (Ireland)
Thanks so much, Maire! It's always great to hear from you.Delete
Nollaig shona duit and athbhliain faoi mhaise duit to you and your family!
glowing orange snow
snow falling on knee-high banks
Nice, Risa! The sense of sadness is so strong. Just the opposite of what one expects from this season. I hope your Christmas present brings you peace.Delete
It's always wonderful to read your poems.
I wish you a Happy Christmas and a New Year filled with all good things (and lots of poems to share with us).
Thank you, Adele. I wish the same for you and all beings, now, at Christmas and all time.ReplyDelete
Happy Christmas, Adele!ReplyDelete
I take it that's your Christmas tree in the picture? Truly magnificent! (And is that a Gothic/Tudor-style chair to the right? The Staffordshire Spaniels and needleworks all add to a very English look.
Warmest wishes for a wonderful holiday season and a happy New Year,
Thanks so much, Nikki!Delete
Yes, that's my Christmas tree and, yes, that's a Tudor/Gothic revival chair from a church in England. My ancestry is half English, and I love the Victorian Gothic Revival style.
Best wishes for a wonderful Christmas and a healthy, happy New Year.
Merry Christmas to you, Adele and to all of your blog readers!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Gillian, and the same to you!Delete
BUON NATALE DA ROMA, ADELEReplyDelete
Thank you so much, Alessandro! I wish you and your family many blessings and a wonderful Christmas. BUON NATALE!Delete
I really enjoy reading short Christmas poems. Sometimes, I've got to copy some of the lines and use them as my greetings to family and friends. It's heartwarming.ReplyDelete