The Poetry of Christmas
By Thomas Hardy
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Poetry is a fascinating use of language. With almost a million words at its command it is not surprising that these Isles have produced some of the most beautiful, moving and descriptive verse through the centuries. In this series we look at festivals and themes throughout the year each through the eyes and minds of our most gifted poets to bring you a unique poetic guide. Christmas, they say, comes but once a year. In these days it seems to also last for much of that year but this volume is not just for Christmas! For the religious amongst us this annual celebration of the Birth of Christ must seem bitter sweet; it's acknowledgment by billions of people countered by the pervasive spread of material possessions translating the event to little more than a sales pitch for their own wares. Most religions celebrate their founders but Christianity seems somehow to have lost possession of one of its key rituals in an ever more secular West. The spread of globalisation seems to have hindered rather than helped the true meaning of the festival. Children today are much more interested in what presents they might receive than any spiritual message. As parents too, most of us buy into this and indulge our offspring rather than instil the underlying themes and aims of the festival's meaning common to us all. In this collection we rely on the words and wisdom of such fine poets as John Milton, Emily Dickinson, Sir Walter Scott, Daniel Sheehan, William Wordsworth, Robert Louis Stevenson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and a whole host of others to absorb us in a Christmas time of hope and togetherness. The experiences and memories they share with us speak of a time, of a world that did have a common purpose and an ambition to share good fortune with everyone.
Many of the poems are also available as an audiobook from our sister company Portable Poetry. The full volume can be purchased from iTunes, Amazon and other digital stores. Among our readers are Richard Mitchley and Ghizela Rowe.