This week: Holiday PoemsEdited by: Stormy Lady
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This is poetry from the minds and the hearts of poets on Writing.Com. The poems I am going to be exposing throughout this newsletter are ones that I have found to be, very visual, mood setting and uniquely done.
Christmas Trees by Robert Frost
(A Christmas Circular Letter)
The City had withdrawn into itself
And left at last the country to the country;
When between whirls of snow not come to lie
And whirls of foliage not yet laid, there drove
A stranger to our yard, who looked the city,
Yet did in country fashion in that there
He sat and waited till he drew us out
A-buttoning coats to ask him who he was.
He proved to be the city come again
To look for something it had left behind
And could not do without and keep its Christmas.
He asked if I would sell my Christmas trees;
My woods-the young fir balsams like a place
Where houses all are churches and have spires.
I hadn't thought of them as Christmas Trees.
I doubt if I was tempted for a moment
To sell them off their feet to go in cars
And leave the slope behind the house all bare,
Where the sun shines now no warmer than the moon.
I'd hate to have them know it if I was.
Yet more I'd hate to hold my trees except
As others hold theirs or refuse for them,
Beyond the time of profitable growth,
The trial by market everything must come to.
I dallied so much with the thought of selling.
Then whether from mistaken courtesy
And fear of seeming short of speech, or whether
From hope of hearing good of what was mine,
I said, "There aren't enough to be worth while."
"I could soon tell how many they would cut,
You let me look them over."
"You could look.
But don't expect I'm going to let you have them."
Pasture they spring in, some in clumps too close
That lop each other of boughs, but not a few
Quite solitary and having equal boughs
All round and round. The latter he nodded "Yes" to,
Or paused to say beneath some lovelier one,
With a buyer's moderation, "That would do."
I thought so too, but wasn't there to say so.
We climbed the pasture on the south, crossed over,
And came down on the north.
He said, "A thousand."
"A thousand Christmas trees at what apiece?"
He felt some need of softening that to me:
"A thousand trees would come to thirty dollars."
Then I was certain I had never meant
To let him have them. Never show surprise!
But thirty dollars seemed so small beside
The extent of pasture I should strip, three cents
(For that was all they figured out apiece),
Three cents so small beside the dollar friends
I should be writing to within the hour
Would pay in cities for good trees like those,
Regular vestry-trees whole Sunday Schools
Could hang enough on to pick off enough.
A thousand Christmas trees I didn't know I had!
Worth three cents more to give away than sell,
As may be shown by a simple calculation.
Too bad I couldn't lay one in a letter.
I can't help wishing I could send you one,
In wishing you herewith a Merry Christmas.
Robert Frost was born in San Francisco in 1874. He lived with his parents and sister until his fathers death when he was eleven. His mother then moved him and his sister to Massachusetts to be closer to their grandparents. Frost graduated valedictorian from Lawrence High School. From high school he entered Dartmouth College but stayed less than one term. Frost returned home to teach and do odd jobs for the next couple of years. On November 8, 1894, "My Butterfly," was published in the New York newspaper The Independent. Frost married his high school classmate, Elinor Miriam White later that same year.
For the next few years Frost taught school. He entered Harvard in the fall of 1897, where he did well in his studies, until his health made him return home. Frost moved his wife and two young sons to a farm in Massachusetts in October of 1900. He spent the next nine years writing poems that would become his first published volumes. Frost's fame did not take off and he was back to teaching by 1906. Two of Frost poems 'The Tuft of Flowers' and 'The Trial by Existence', were published that same year. Frost and his wife had six children, two of which had passed away shortly after birth.
In 1912 Frost moved his family to London. In London Frost made acquaintances in the literary world. Edward Thomas would be the most important friend Frost would make in London. Thomas wrote reviews for Frost first two books Boy's Will and North of Boston. Frost moved his family to Gloucestershire to be closer to him new friends and to experience country living. In 1915 Frost moved his family back to America because of England's entry into the First World War.
Back in America Frost's third volume of verse, Mountain Interval, was published in 1916. He greatest poems were published that year, The Road Not Taken,' 'An Old Man's Winter Night,' 'The Oven Bird,' 'Birches,' 'Putting in the Seed,' and 'Out, Out-'. Frost had finally established himself as an American poet. In 1924 Frost won his first of four Pulitzer Prize for his fourth book, New Hampshire. He also won a Pulitzer Prize for A Further Range. Frost poetry changed in his later years, after a horrible series of events in his life. His youngest daughter died a slow death after contracting puerperal fever in 1934. His wife, Elinor died suddenly of a heart attack in 1938. Then one of his son committed suicide in 1940. Then another one of Frosts daughters had to be institutionalized she suffered from mental disorders. Several poems in A Witness Tree seem to echo the family tragedies Frost endured over the last ten years; 'The Silken Tent', 'I Could Give All to Time', 'Never Again Would Birds' Song Be the Same', and 'The Most of It.'
In 1947 Frost published Steeple Bush, which contained one of Frost major poem 'Directive'. Frost returned to England in 1957 to receive honorary degrees from Oxford and Cambridge. Frost's last reading was given to a large audience in Boston in December 1962. The following day he went into hospital for a prostate operation and suffered a severe heart attack while convalescing, then an embolisms killed him on January 29, 1963.
'Twas the Night Before Christmas
(or A Visit from St. Nicholas)
by Clement Clarke Moore
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
while visions of sugar plums danced in their heads.
And Mama in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap.
When out on the roof there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
tore open the shutter, and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
gave the lustre of midday to objects below,
when, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
but a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer.
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles, his courses they came,
and he whistled and shouted and called them by name:
"Now Dasher! Now Dancer!
Now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid!
On, Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch!
To the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away!
Dash away all!"
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
when they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky
so up to the house-top the courses they flew,
with the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
the prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head and was turning around,
down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
and his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
and he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes--how they twinkled! His dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
and the beard on his chin was as white as the snow.
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
and the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
that shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
and I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
and filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
and giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, 'ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"
Clement Clarke Moore was born in 1779 in New York. Moore's father, Reverend Benjamin Moore, was well known. He was the Episcopal Bishop of New York. His father was a part of George Washington's first inauguration and he also gave last rights to Alexander Hamilton. Clement Moore was an author and a noted Hebrew scholar. It is said that he spoke five different languages and was a real-estate owner and developer in Manhattan.
Moore had many accomplishments, but he is remembered only for his poem " 'Twas the Night Before Christmas." It has been told that Moore wrote the poem on Christmas Eve in 1822. He was riding in a sleigh on his way back from Greenwich Village after picking up a turkey for Christmas dinner. Some even say that the large man driving his sleigh that night was the inspiration Moore used for his chubby St. Nicholas.
When Moore arrived home he read his poem to his six children and his wife. It is said that he thought no more about the poem and it was family friend that submitted the poem to a local newspaper. It was published anonymously in the New York, Sentential. Moore didn't copyright the poem, and only claimed it as his own close to a decade after it was first published. He finally included the poem in a book of his poetry in 1844.
Moore died in 1863 he is buried in a cemetery in lower Manhattan, New York.
Thank you all!
The winner of "Stormy's poetry newsletter & contest" [ASR] is:
The sun shines along the valley
As lily's ripple in the breeze.
A soldier stands at attention.
His eyes across the now tranquil scene,
That so long ago was torn and broken
Dark and filled with horrors and grief,
He sees the beauty before him
But his memories still torment and haunt
He reflects on his past
When fighting for peace was a struggle
Against an oppressive foe
But now the bridge of time has been mended
Lives rebuilt, families restored,
The Dead given a place of honour.
Those who faught so bravely across the pond
Live on in memory
Reminding us that peace is a fragile thing.
It must be cultivated and cherished.
The past has been put to rest,
but it is never forgotten.
We must never forget.
These are the rules:
1) You must use the words I give in a poem or prose with no limits on length.
2) The words can be in any order and anywhere throughout the poem and can be any form of the word.
3) All entries must be posted in your portfolio and you must post the link in this forum, "Stormy's poetry newsletter & contest" [ASR] by December 29, 2019.
4) The winner will get 3000 gift points and the poem will be displayed in this section of the newsletter the next time it is my turn to post (January 2, 2019)
The words are:
laughter tipsy relative count down resolutions broken daylight
Good luck to all
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